Painting with Microbes


  • Brittany Wintter
  • Lab section F01

  • I thought it would be incredibly ironic to use bacteria to paint a virus thus my inspiration.
  • I utilized EMB [Eosin Methylene Blue] as a medium because it turns Escherchia coli into a dark black color (image 1) with a lovely green sheen when tilted in the light (image 2). My lines were not as crisp as I would have liked them and it appears that in the shading process I contaminated the left side of the virus “head”. The inside of the head and body are Serratia marcescus and the base of the head and disc that holds the body are Citrobacter freundii. I was hoping for a larger color difference in the S. marcescus and C. freundii but I am still pleasantly surprised it turned out at well as it did. S. marcescus is a gram-negative, non-fermenting bacteria that turns EMB translucent or pink; a small amount of pink is present but it is a bit difficult to see the difference. C. freundii is a gram-negative, fermenting bacteria that should have turned a red or black color [which slightly occurred] but it is a bit difficult to differentiate between the C. freundii and E. coli because the lines are so close together. Overall the median stayed the same red tone but the strains of bacteria did show up in the appropriate manners.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *