Magnetosomes and Gibson Vectors

Project goal:

The goal of this project was to use gibson cloning to transfer the genes involved in magnetosome synthesis, into E.Coli.

What are magnetosomes?

Magnetosomes are small invaginations of the bacterial cell membrane that contain magnetite nanoparticles. These particles range in size between 20 and several hundred nanometers and are aligned in one or several chains along the long axis of the bacteria.

These particles act together to form a magnetic dipole across the bacteria, allowing it to perceive the earths magnetic field. In the northern hemisphere, magnetotactic bacteria (bacteria with magnetosomes) swim north along the earths magnetic field lines in search of a micro-environement with a specific oxygen content. It is believed that the magnetosomes help bacteria turn the search for this perfect oxygen level from a three dimensional one (in all directions) to a one dimensional one along a single path.