Genomic insights into the uncultured genus 'Candidatus Magnetobacterium' in the phylum Nitrospirae

ISME J. 2014 Dec;8(12):2463-77. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2014.94. Epub 2014 Jun 10.


Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) of the genus 'Candidatus Magnetobacterium' in phylum Nitrospirae are of great interest because of the formation of hundreds of bullet-shaped magnetite magnetosomes in multiple bundles of chains per cell. These bacteria are worldwide distributed in aquatic environments and have important roles in the biogeochemical cycles of iron and sulfur. However, except for a few short genomic fragments, no genome data are available for this ecologically important genus, and little is known about their metabolic capacity owing to the lack of pure cultures. Here we report the first draft genome sequence of 3.42 Mb from an uncultivated strain tentatively named 'Ca. Magnetobacterium casensis' isolated from Lake Miyun, China. The genome sequence indicates an autotrophic lifestyle using the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway for CO2 fixation, which has not been described in any previously known MTB or Nitrospirae organisms. Pathways involved in the denitrification, sulfur oxidation and sulfate reduction have been predicted, indicating its considerable capacity for adaptation to variable geochemical conditions and roles in local biogeochemical cycles. Moreover, we have identified a complete magnetosome gene island containing mam, mad and a set of novel genes (named as man genes) putatively responsible for the formation of bullet-shaped magnetite magnetosomes and the arrangement of multiple magnetosome chains. This first comprehensive genomic analysis sheds light on the physiology, ecology and biomineralization of the poorly understood 'Ca. Magnetobacterium' genus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / classification
  • Bacteria / genetics*
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Bacteria / ultrastructure
  • Carbon Cycle / genetics
  • Ferrosoferric Oxide / metabolism
  • Genome, Bacterial*
  • Genomic Islands
  • Genomics
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Magnetosomes / metabolism
  • Magnetosomes / ultrastructure
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Nitrogen / metabolism
  • Phylogeny
  • Sulfur / metabolism


  • Sulfur
  • Iron
  • Nitrogen
  • Ferrosoferric Oxide

Associated data

  • GENBANK/JMFO01000000