Yield cultivation of magnetotactic bacteria and magnetosomes: A review

J Basic Microbiol. 2017 Aug;57(8):643-652. doi: 10.1002/jobm.201700052. Epub 2017 May 2.


Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) have started to be employed for the biosynthesis of magnetic nanoparticles, due to the rapidly increasing demand for nanoparticles in biomedical, biotechnology and environmental protection. MBT are the group of prokaryotes that have the ability to produce bio-magnetic minerals or bio-magnetic crystals of either magnetite (Fe3 O4 ) or greigite (Fe3 S4 ) in numerous shapes and size ranges, known as magnetosomes (MS). MS compel MTB to respond to the applied external magnetic field. However, it is extremely difficult to grow MTB and produce high yield of MS under artificial environmental conditions, thus creating a major hurdle to relocate MTB technology from laboratory scale to industrial or commercial level. Therefore, to best of our knowledge this review is the first attempt to highlight existing research developments about the laboratory scale and mass production of MS by MTB. Moreover, the optimum culture media and environmental conditions used for the cultivation of MTB were also considered. Finally, future research is encouraged for the improvement of MS yield which will result in the development of advanced nanotechnology/magnetotechnology.

Keywords: bio-magnetic minerals; magnetic nanoparticles; magnetosomes; magnetotactic bacteria; magnetotechnology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / growth & development*
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Bacteria / metabolism
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Culture Media
  • Ferrosoferric Oxide / metabolism
  • Iron / metabolism
  • Magnetics
  • Magnetosomes / metabolism*
  • Nanoparticles / chemistry
  • Nanotechnology
  • Phylogeny
  • Sulfides / metabolism


  • Culture Media
  • Sulfides
  • greigite
  • Iron
  • Ferrosoferric Oxide