Understanding the biological processes enabling magnetotactic bacteria to maintain oriented chains of magnetic iron-bearing nanoparticles called magnetosomes is a major challenge. The study aimed to constrain the role of an external applied magnetic field on the alignment of magnetosome chains in Magnetospirillum magneticum AMB-1 magnetotactic bacteria immobilized within a hydrated silica matrix. A deviation of the chain orientation was evidenced, without significant impact on cell viability, which was preserved after the field was turned-off. Transmission electron microscopy showed that the crystallographic orientation of the nanoparticles within the chains were preserved. Off-axis electron holography evidenced that the change in magnetosome orientation was accompanied by a shift from parallel to anti-parallel interactions between individual nanocrystals. The field-induced destructuration of the chain occurs according to two possible mechanisms: (i) each magnetosome responds individually and reorients in the magnetic field direction and/or (ii) short magnetosome chains deviate in the magnetic field direction. This work enlightens the strong dynamic character of the magnetosome assembly and widens the potentialities of magnetotactic bacteria in bionanotechnology.