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Escherichia coli containing either a recA::GFP (green plates), a recA::DsRed (red plates) or a double-labeled construct containing both a recA::EGFP and a grpE::DsRed (yellow plate) fusions.

The famous tropical sunset scene by Nobel Prize-winner Dr. Roger Tsien, University of California San Diego, USA.  This image was created using transgenic bacteria expressing fluorescent protein genes.

The UK-based Normal Flora Project includes a range of artistic projects focused on bacterial and fungal species commonly living around us. As they put it, ‘We are asked, How clean is your house?, but the question should be, How sublime is your eco-system?’

Images created by Katelyn Burgett, a student in Dr. Amy Reese’s lab at Cedar Crest College, Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA.  The technique involved covering the bacteria with an opaque stencil and exposing the plate to UV to kill the exposed cells.  The covered bacteria survived, and grew to produce the stencil pattern.

Art created by students in the microbiology class taught by Dr. Antonio Izzo, Elon University, North Carolina, USA.

“GFPixel” by artist Gerfried Stocker and molecular biologist Reinhard Nestelbacher, Austria.  The image was created by growing transgenic bacteria in 4,000 Petri-dishes, some of which express green fluorescent protein (GFP). By arranging the plates in a particular order and exposing them to UV light, the portrait becomes visible.  Read more about this piece here and here.

A collection of bacterial and other biology-based art by Denise King of Exploratorium.

Artist Eduardo Kac has used a medium of earth, water, and other materials to create “biotopes”, living artworks that contain thousands of organisms. The pieces are part of an exhibit entitled “Specimen of Secrecy About Marvelous Discoveries“, during which he is able to alter the metabolism of the organisms in order to produce dynamic living works.

Peta Clancy is a PhD candidate and Photomedia Lecturer at Monash University, Australia. She created an exhibit entitled Visible Human Bodies using images generated with bacterial cultures.

The Slime Mould Collective is a website featuring work by various artists who use slime moulds in their art.

Images by Dr. Shimshon Belkin, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. These images were created using E. coli containing either a recA::GFP (green), a recA::DsRed (red) or a double-labeled construct containing both a recA::EGFP and a grpE::DsRed (yellow) fusions. For more images, see here.