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Magnetospirillum magnetotacticum (Maratea and Blakemore) Schleifer et al.


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Type strain
Product category
Product type
Strain designation
Type strain
Genome sequenced strain
Isolation source
Water from Cedar Swamp
Geographical isolation
United States; Massachusetts
Product format
Storage conditions
-80°C or colder
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ATCC determines the biosafety level of a material based on our risk assessment as guided by the current edition of Biosafety in Microbiological and Biomedical Laboratories (BMBL), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is your responsibility to understand the hazards associated with the material per your organization’s policies and procedures as well as any other applicable regulations as enforced by your local or national agencies.

ATCC highly recommends that appropriate personal protective equipment is always used when handling vials. For cultures that require storage in liquid nitrogen, it is important to note that some vials may leak when submersed in liquid nitrogen and will slowly fill with liquid nitrogen. Upon thawing, the conversion of the liquid nitrogen back to its gas phase may result in the vial exploding or blowing off its cap with dangerous force creating flying debris. Unless necessary, ATCC recommends that these cultures be stored in the vapor phase of liquid nitrogen rather than submersed in liquid nitrogen.

Detailed product information


Specific applications
Produces iron reductase


Accumulation of magnetite
Technical information
ATCC Technical Services does not have technical information on patent deposits that are not produced or characterized by ATCC. Additional information can be found in the corresponding patent available from the patent holder or with the U.S. and/or international patent office.

Handling information

Handling procedure
  1. Thaw contents of the vial in a 37°C water bath with gentle agitation.
  2. Inoculate a single 16 x 125 mm tube of #1653 broth with the contents of the thawed vial.  Be sure the entire tube is filled with medium to achieve microaerophilic conditions.
  3. Incubate at 28°C to 30°C for 4 to 10 days.
  4. When broth becomes cloudy and a small gray sediment is visible at the bottom of the tube, cells can be harvested.  Divide contents of the tube into two tubes and spin in a tabletop centrifuge.
  5. Discard the supernatant liquid.  Do not bubble or shake cells.  Resuspend cells in a 125 mL flask filled to capacity.
  6. Incubate as directed above.
Handling notes
The medium may turn white.  Test for magnetism by subjecting flasks to magnetic stirring plate.  The cells will swirl.

For storage, centrifuge cells for 30 minutes at 7,000 rpm.  Discard the supernatant liquid.  Resuspend cells in approximately 6 ml of fresh broth.  Add an equal amount of sterile 20% glycerol.  Freeze at as low a temperature as available.

When this strain is grown under microaerophilic conditions, the cells are magnetotactic.  They have magnetite inclusions, which cause the cells to turn in a magnetic field.  This can be observed in a wet mount from a broth culture.  The strain will grow aerobically, but will not be magnetic.

Additional information on this culture is available on the ATCC® web site at

Quality control specifications

Verification method
Whole-genome Sequencing


Deposited as
Aquaspirillum magnetotacticum Maratea and Blakemore
RP Blakemore
Patent depository
This material was deposited with the ATCC Patent Depository to fulfill U.S. or international patent requirements. This material may not have been produced or characterized by ATCC.  As an International Depository Authority (IDA) for patent deposits, ATCC is required to complete viability testing only at time of initial deposit of patent material. Patent deposits are made available on behalf of the Depositor when the pertinent U.S. or international patent is issued, but material may not be used to infringe the patent claims.
Patent number
Type of isolate

Legal disclaimers

Intended use
This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use.

The product is provided 'AS IS' and the viability of ATCC® products is warranted for 30 days from the date of shipment, provided that the customer has stored and handled the product according to the information included on the product information sheet, website, and Certificate of Analysis. For living cultures, ATCC lists the media formulation and reagents that have been found to be effective for the product. While other unspecified media and reagents may also produce satisfactory results, a change in the ATCC and/or depositor-recommended protocols may affect the recovery, growth, and/or function of the product. If an alternative medium formulation or reagent is used, the ATCC warranty for viability is no longer valid.  Except as expressly set forth herein, no other warranties of any kind are provided, express or implied, including, but not limited to, any implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, manufacture according to cGMP standards, typicality, safety, accuracy, and/or noninfringement.


This product is intended for laboratory research use only. It is not intended for any animal or human therapeutic use, any human or animal consumption, or any diagnostic use. Any proposed commercial use is prohibited without a license from ATCC.

While ATCC uses reasonable efforts to include accurate and up-to-date information on this product sheet, ATCC makes no warranties or representations as to its accuracy. Citations from scientific literature and patents are provided for informational purposes only. ATCC does not warrant that such information has been confirmed to be accurate or complete and the customer bears the sole responsibility of confirming the accuracy and completeness of any such information.

This product is sent on the condition that the customer is responsible for and assumes all risk and responsibility in connection with the receipt, handling, storage, disposal, and use of the ATCC product including without limitation taking all appropriate safety and handling precautions to minimize health or environmental risk. As a condition of receiving the material, the customer agrees that any activity undertaken with the ATCC product and any progeny or modifications will be conducted in compliance with all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines. This product is provided 'AS IS' with no representations or warranties whatsoever except as expressly set forth herein and in no event shall ATCC, its parents, subsidiaries, directors, officers, agents, employees, assigns, successors, and affiliates be liable for indirect, special, incidental, or consequential damages of any kind in connection with or arising out of the customer's use of the product. While reasonable effort is made to ensure authenticity and reliability of materials on deposit, ATCC is not liable for damages arising from the misidentification or misrepresentation of such materials.

Please see the material transfer agreement (MTA) for further details regarding the use of this product. The MTA is available at

This material is cited in a US and/or international patent and may not be used to infringe the claims. Depending on the wishes of the Depositor, ATCC may be required to inform the Depositor of the party to which the material was furnished.

Permits & Restrictions

Import Permit for the State of Hawaii

If shipping to the U.S. state of Hawaii, you must provide either an import permit or documentation stating that an import permit is not required. We cannot ship this item until we receive this documentation. Contact the Hawaii Department of Agriculture (HDOA), Plant Industry Division, Plant Quarantine Branch to determine if an import permit is required.



Curated Citations

Balkwill DL, et al. Ultrastructure of a magnetotactic spirillum. J. Bacteriol. 141: 1399-1408, 1980. PubMed: 6245069

Blakemore RP, et al. Isolation and pure culture of a freshwater magnetic spirillum in chemically defined medium. J. Bacteriol. 140: 720-729, 1979. PubMed: 500569

Blakemore RP. Magnetic bacteria and products derived therefrom. US Patent 4,385,119 dated May 24 1983

Deed RW, et al. Validation list no. 40. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 42: 191-192, 1992. PubMed: 1736967

Maratea D, Blakemore RP. Aquaspirillum magnetotacticum sp. nov., a nagnetic spirillum. Int. J. Syst. Bacteriol. 31: 452-455, 1981.

View All Curated Citations for this Product

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