Postprint version. Published in Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, Volume 149, Issue 3, September 1, 1995, pages 279-286.
The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/0304-8853(95)00078-X.
We describe pulsed-magnetic-field remanence measurements of individual, killed, undisrupted cells of three different types of magnetotactic bacteria. The measurement technique involved the observation of aligned, individual magnetotactic bacteria with a light microscope as they were subjected to magnetic pulses of increasing amplitude. We show that for MM cells, the hysteresis loop is square, with the coercive field variable from cell to cell. This is consistent with just two magnetization states for the single chain of magnetite particles. For MR and MMP cells, the hysteresis loops are not square, indicating that there are several different magnetization states, and that individual cells can be demagnetized. The coercive fields in the MR and MMP cells are less variable than for the MM cells.