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Magnetic optimization in a multicellular magnetotactic organism

Winklhofer, M, L.G. Abracado, A.F. Davila, C.N. Keim, and H.G.P. Lins de Barros (2007), Magnetic optimization in a multicellular magnetotactic organism, Biophys. J., 92(2), 661-670, doi:10.1529/biophysj.106.093823.

Unicellular magnetotactic prokaryotes, which typically carry a
natural remanet magnetic moment equal to the saturation magnetic
moment, are the prime example of magnetically optimized organisms.
We here report magnetic measurements on a multicellular
magnetotactic prokaryote (MMP) consisting of 17 undifferentiated
cells (mean from 148 MMPs) with chains of ferrimagnetic particles
in each cell. To test if the chain polarities of each cell
contribute coherently to the total magnetic moment of the MMP, we
used a highly sensitive magnetization measurement technique
(1 fAm2) that enabled us to determine the degree of magnetic
optimization (DMO) of individual MMPs in vivo. We obtained
DMO values consistently above 80%. Numerical modelling shows that
the probability of reaching a DMO>80% would be as low as 0.017
for 17 randomly oriented magnetic dipoles. We simulated different
scenarios to test whether high DMOs are attainable by aggregation
or self-organization of individual magnetic cells. None of the
scenarios investigated is likely to yield consistently high DMOs
in each generation of MMPs. The observed high DMO values require
strong Darwinian selection and a sophisticated reproduction
mechanism. We suggest a multicellular life cycle as most plausible
scenario for transmitting the high DMO from one generation to the
Further information
  author = {M Winklhofer and L.G. Abracado and A.F. Davila and C.N. Keim and H.G.P. Lins de Barros},
  journal = {Biophys. J.},
  month = {jan},
  number = {2},
  pages = {661-670},
  title = {{Magnetic optimization in a multicellular magnetotactic organism}},
  volume = {92},
  year = {2007},
  language = {en},
  url = {http://www.biophysj.org/cgi/rapidpdf/biophysj.106.093823v1},
  doi = {10.1529/biophysj.106.093823},
%0 Journal Article
%A Winklhofer, M
%A Abracado, L.G.
%A Davila, A.F.
%A Keim, C.N.
%A Lins de Barros, H.G.P.
%D 2007
%N 2
%V 92
%J Biophys. J.
%P 661-670
%T Magnetic optimization in a multicellular magnetotactic organism
%U http://www.biophysj.org/cgi/rapidpdf/biophysj.106.093823v1
%8 jan
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Printed 31. Oct 2020 02:04