This confocal micrograph shows Bacillus subtilis, a Gram-positive, rod-shaped bacterium that is commonly found in soil. Distinct lineages of bacteria expressing different fluorescent proteins were initially mixed randomly on a petri dish. As the bacteria grow, they organise themselves into reproducible patterns and shapes that can be predicted with mathematical models. The researchers took this image as part of a project designing artificial genetic circuits for pattern formation in bacterial colonies and plant tissues.
The 12th Wellcome Image Awards were announced on 20 June 2012, recognising the creators of the most informative, striking and technically excellent images among recent acquisitions to Wellcome Images, as chosen by a panel of judges.
Image credit: Fernan Federici, Tim Rudge, PJ Steiner and Jim Haseloff