The diameter of the aggregates ranges between 4.7 and 6.9 μm. Each aggregate consists of 25 ± 6 cells. Individual cells form bullet-shaped, magnetosome crystals composed of an iron-sulfide mineral. Within the same multicellular aggregate, crystals are aligned in parallel chains and thus are all oriented in the same direction. The aggregates are covered by filamentous surface structures which form a thick capsule. Aggregates of ‘Candidatus Magnetomorum litorale’ exhibit chemotaxis towards acetate and propionate and harbour aprA and dsrAB genes. The habitats of ‘Candidatus Magnetomorum litorale’ are anoxic sediment layers of costal intertidal sand flats of the German Wadden Sea.
All cells of ‘Candidatus Magnetomorum litorale’ contain the same 16S rRNA gene sequence and represent a novel phylogenetic lineage which is related to the genus Desulfosarcina of the family Desulfobacteracae within the order Desulfobacterales (subphylum Deltaproteobacteria). The associated 16S rRNA gene sequence of the provisional taxon ‘Candidatus Magnetomorum litorale’ has been deposited in the GenBank database under the Accession No. EU717681.