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Abstract

Techniques for the Isolation of Magnetotactic Bacteria

Nimali N Prabhu and Meenal Kowshik

Magnetotactic bacteria (MTB), a diverse group of ubiquitously occurring Gram-negative procaryotes are currently the subject of interdisciplinary research. The unique trait of synthesis and biomineralization of nano-sized magnetic particles in the ideal range of 30 to 120 nm makes them suitable for biomedical and biotechnological applications. However, research in this field has not reached a commercial scale as these bacteria are notoriously difficult to culture. Culturing this metabolically versatile group of bacteria on the defined medium is still a challenging task even though a few MTB strains have been isolated and purified in the past. Scientists worldwide are developing different strategies to trap MTB under artificial laboratory conditions. This review summarizes various apparatus, setups and media formulations designed for obtaining axenic MTB strains since their discovery by Richard Blakemore in 1975.