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Multicellular photo-magnetotactic bacteria

Shapiro, Orr H. and Hatzenpichler, Roland and Buckley, Daniel H. and Zinder, Stephen H. and Orphan, Victoria J. (2011) Multicellular photo-magnetotactic bacteria. Environmental Microbiology Reports, 3 (2). pp. 233-238. ISSN 1758-2229.

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Multicellular magnetotactic bacteria (MMB) are unique microorganisms typically comprised of 10–40 bacterial cells arranged around a central acellular compartment. Their life cycle has no known unicellular stage and division occurs by separation of a single MMB aggregate into two identical offspring. In this study, South-seeking multicellular magnetotactic bacteria (ssMMB) were enriched from a New England salt marsh. When exposed to light, ssMMB reversed their magnetotactic behaviour to become North-seeking. The exposure time needed to generate the reversal response varied with light wavelength and intensity. Extensive exposure to light appeared to be lethal. This is the first report of a Northern hemisphere MMB displaying South-seeking behaviour and the first time a MMB is found to exhibit photo-magnetotaxis. We suggest that this mechanism enables ssMMB to optimize their location with regard to chemical gradients and light intensities, and propose a model to explain the peculiar balance between photo- and magnetotaxis.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription
Hatzenpichler, Roland0000-0002-5489-3444
Orphan, Victoria J.0000-0002-5374-6178
Additional Information:© 2010 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Received 1 February, 2010; accepted 17 August, 2010. Article first published online: 30 Sep. 2010. This study was performed during the 2009 Microbial Diversity course at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA, USA. The Microbial Diversity course was supported by funding from the US National Science Foundation, the US Department of Energy, The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Foundation and the Marine Biological Laboratories. OHS and RH acknowledge financial support by The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the University of Vienna, the Moshe Shilo Memorial Fund, and the Ben Gurion University of the Negev. OHS is recipient of a Levi-Eshkol PhD-fellowship from the Israeli Ministry of Science. RH is recipient of a PhD-fellowship (DOC) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences. OHS and RH thank all faculty, lecturers, students (a.k.a. the micronauts) and teaching assistants (most of all Cristina Moraru) for a great summer. Heather Fullerton is acknowledged for help with sampling. We thank Alexander Petroff for helpful discussions, and Zeiss for providing microscopic equipment and technical support.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Gordon and Betty Moore FoundationUNSPECIFIED
University of ViennaUNSPECIFIED
Moshe Shilo Memorial FundUNSPECIFIED
Ben Gurion University of the NegevUNSPECIFIED
Israeli Ministry of ScienceUNSPECIFIED
Austrian Academy of SciencesUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:2
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20110404-113053920
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Official Citation:Shapiro, O. H., Hatzenpichler, R., Buckley, D. H., Zinder, S. H. and Orphan, V. J. (2011), Multicellular photo-magnetotactic bacteria. Environmental Microbiology Reports, 3: 233–238. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-2229.2010.00215.x
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:23239
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:04 Apr 2011 21:36
Last Modified:09 Mar 2020 13:18

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