Dictionary > Magnetosome

Magnetosome

Definition
noun, plural: magnetosomes
A membranous cytoplasmic structure containing mineral crystals that enable certain prokaryotes to orient themselves towards magnetic field
Supplement
The magnetosomes are membranous cytoplasmic structures consisting of mineral crystals (about 15-20) that act together like a compass needle. They were found inside the cells of magnetic bacteria such as Magnetospirillum species. The magnetosomes within the cells of Magnetospirillum species orient them to geomagnetic fields. This response to geomagnetic field helps them to move towards their preferred microaerophilic environment. The mineral crystals within magnetosome may be crystals of magnetite (Fe3O4) or crystals of greigite (Fe3S4). The magnetosomes that contain magnetite crystals are referred to as iron oxide magnetosomes whereas those that contain greigite crystals are called iron sulfide magnetosomes. Apart from greigite crystals, though, iron sulfide magnetosomes were also found to contain other sulfide minerals such as mackinawite.
Apart from these prokaryotes, there are also certain eukaryotes that possess cytoplasmic magnetosomes, particularly the so-called magnetotactic algal species. Within their cells are magnetosomes containing thousands of magnetite crystals.
The presence of magnetosomes enables these organisms to orient themselves towards geomagnetic fields and move towards it. This response to geomagnetic field is termed magnetotaxis.
See also:

  • Magnetospirillum

Mentioned in:

  • magnetotaxis


  • You will also like...

    Human perception in action
    Human Perception – Neurology

    This tutorial investigates perception as two people can interpret the same thing differently. Know more about human perc..

    3D rendering of an antibody
    Passive and Active Types of Immunity

    Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell capable of producing a specific immune response to unique antigens. In thi..

    Salmon jumping upstream in the river
    Lotic Communities & Animals

    A running water environment offers numerous microhabitats for many types of animals. Similar to plants, animals in lotic..

    Protein (illustration)
    Protein Variety

    The sequence of amino acids determines the type of protein. Protein is synthesized according to the sequence of nucleoti..

    Body temperature regulation by the hypothalamus
    Temperature Regulation in Animals

    This tutorial elucidates body temperature regulation. Know the details here to learn how the body sets the body temperat..

    New Zealand - Biodiversity fauna
    New Zealand’s Biodiversity

    Find out more about New Zealand's unique biodiversity by exploring a range of different ecosystems and the key role of s..

    Related Articles...

    No related articles found

    See all Related Topics