Document Type

Article

Date of Original Version

2014

Abstract

Of the two nanocrystal (magnetosome) compositions biosynthesized by magnetotactic bacteria (MTB), the magnetic properties of magnetite magnetosomes have been extensively studied using widely available cultures, while those of greigite magnetosomes remain poorly known. Here we have collected uncultivated magnetite- and greigite-producing MTB to determine their magnetic coercivity distribution and ferromagnetic resonance (FMR) spectra and to assess the MTB-associated iron flux. We find that compared with magnetite-producing MTB cultures, FMR spectra of uncultivated MTB are characterized by a wider empirical parameter range, thus complicating the use of FMR for fossilized magnetosome (magnetofossil) detection. Furthermore, in stark contrast to putative Neogene greigite magnetofossil records, the coercivity distributions for greigite-producing MTB are fundamentally left-skewed with a lower median. Lastly, a comparison between the MTB-associated iron flux in the investigated estuary and the pyritic-Fe flux in the Black Sea suggests MTB play an important, but heretofore overlooked role in euxinic marine system iron cycle.

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