You are here

Dennis Bazylinski

Professor & Director
School of Life Sciences
Office: WHI 102C
Phone: 702-895-2053
Fax: 702-895-3956


The Bazylinski lab studies the magnetosome biomineralization in magnetotactic bacteria (MTB). We are interested in physiological aspects of these bacteria in marine habitats. A second research focus is the evolution of the magnetosome island on the basis of different MTB strains and the functional analysis of the mam genes.


Microbiology, Microbial Biogeochemistry, Biomineralization

Additional Information

My research program focuses on the magnetotactic bacteria, motile bacteria that biomineralize (synthesize mineral crystals) the smallest possible permanent magnets within their cells that cause them to behave like moving compass needles. We are specifically interested on how and why they biomineralize their crystals, which have great significance in commercial, biomedical, and other applications in nanotechnology.

Selected Publications

  • Bazylinski, D.A. , and D. Schüler. 2009. Biomineralization and assembly of the bacterial magnetosome chain. Microbe 4: 124-130.
  • Jogler, C., M. Kube, S. Schübbe, S. Ullrich, H. Teeling, D.A. Bazylinski, R. Reinhardt, and D. Schüler. 2009. Comparative analysis of magnetosome gene clusters in magnetotactic bacteria provides further evidence for horizontal gene transfer. Env. Microbiol. 11: 1267-1277.
  • Schübbe, S., T.J. Williams, G. Xie, H.E. Kiss, T.S. Brettin, D. Martinez, C.A. Ross, D. Schüler, B.L. Cox, K.H. Nealson, and D.A. Bazylinski. 2009. Complete genome sequence of the chemolithoautotrophic marine magnetotactic coccus strainMC-1. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 75: 4835-4852.
  • Lam, K.P., A.P. Hitchcock, M. Obst, J.R. Lawrence, G.D.W. Swerhone, G.G. Leppard, T. Tyliszczak, C. Karunakaran, J. Wang, K. Kaznatcheev, D.A. Bazylinski, and U. Lins. 2010. Characterizing magnetism of individual magnetosomes by X-ray magnetic circular dichroism  in a scanning transmission X-ray microscope. Chem. Geol. 270: 110-116.
  • Jimenez-Lopez, C., C.S. Romanek, and D.A. Bazylinski. 2010. Magnetite as a prokaryotic biomarker: a review. J. Geophys. Res.-Biogeo. 115: G00G03 (pp. 1-19).
  • Lefèvre C.T., F. Abreu, U. Lins , and D.A. Bazylinski. 2010. Non-magnetotactic multicellular prokaryotes from low saline, nonmarine aquatic environments and their unusual negative phototactic behavior. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 76: 3220-3227.
  • Lefèvre C.T., F. Abreu, M.L. Schmidt, U. Lins , R.B. Frankel, B.P. Hedlund, and D.A. Bazylinski. 2010. Moderately thermophilic magnetotactic bacteria from hot springs in Nevada.  Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 76: 3740-3743.
  • Fang, J., L. Zhang, and D.A. Bazylinski. 2010. The deep-sea piezosphere and piezophiles: geomicrobiology and biogeochemistry. Trends Microbiol. 18: 413-422.
  • Chen, L., D.A. Bazylinski, and B.H. Lower. 2010. Bacteria that synthesize nano-sized compasses to
  • navigate using Earth’s geomagnetic field. Nature Education Knowledge 1: 14.
  • Alphandéry, E., S. Faure, L. Raison, E. Duguet, P.A. Howse, and D.A. Bazylinski. 2011. Heat production by bacterial magnetosomes exposed to an oscillating magnetic field. J. Phys. Chem. C 115: 18-22.
  • Lefèvre C.T., R.B. Frankel, F. Abreu, U. Lins, and D.A. Bazylinski. 2011. Culture-independent characterization of a novel, uncultivated magnetotactic member of the Nitrospirae phylum. Environ. Microbiol. 13: 538-549.
  • Lefèvre, C.T., F. Abreu, U. Lins, andD.A. Bazylinski. 2011. A bacterial backbone: magnetosomes in magnetotactic bacteria. In: Metal Nanoparticles in Microbiology, M. Raj and N. Duran (eds.). Springer-Verlag, New York, NY; pp. 75-102.
  • Abreu, F., M.E. Cantão, M.F. Nicolás, F.G. Barcellos, V. Morillo, L.G. Paula de Almeida, F. Ferreira do Nascimento, C.T. Lefèvre, D.A. Bazylinski, A.T. Ribeiro de Vasconcelos, and U. Lins. 2011 Common ancestry of iron oxide- and iron-sulfide-based biomineralization in magnetotactic bacteria. ISME J. In press.
  • Lefèvre, C.T., R.B. Frankel, M. Pósfai, T. Prozorov, and D.A. Bazylinski. 2011. Isolation of obligately magnetotactic bacteria in extremely alkaline environments. Environ. Microbiol. In press.
  • Bazylinski, D.A., C.T. Lefèvre, and R.B. Frankel. 2011. Magnetotactic protists at the oxic-anoxic transition and anoxic zones of coastal aquatic environments. In: Anoxia: Paleontological Strategies and Evidence for Eukaryote Survival, A. Altenbach, J. Bernhard, and J. Seckbach (eds.). Springer-Verlag, New York, NY. In press.