Magnetic studies of magnetotactic bacteria by soft X-ray STXM and ptychography

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB) biomineralize chains of nanoscale magnetite single crystals which align the cell with the earth's magnetic field and assist the cell to migrate to, and maintain its position at, the oxic-anoxic transition zone, their preferred habitat. Here we describe use of multi-edge scanning transmission X-ray microscopy (STXM) to investigate the chemistry and magnetism of MTB on an individual cell basis. We report measurements of the orientation of the magnetic vector of magnetosome chains relative to the location of the single flagellum in marine vibrio, Magnetovibrio blakemorei strain MV-1 cells from both the southern and northern hemisphere. We also report a major improvement in both spatial resolution and spectral quality through the use of spectro-ptychography at the Fe L3 edge. © 2016 AIP Publishing LLC.

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