These are bacteria from my personal microbiome and thus, they are small part of the 100 trillion or so microorganisms that live in my gut, mouth, skin and elsewhere. The total number of genes in my “second” microbial genome exceeds the number of my human genes by a factor of 100-to-one.
I’m starting a project to colour my own micobiome so that I might paint, print or colour textiles with it. The processes uses chromogens. These are colourless compounds that become brightly coloured when bacteria act upon them. So far I have made pink, blue, black and metallic black with members of my normal bacterial flora. I’m liking the idea of a living black ink made from it. Here are purified streaks of coloured bacteria that I have collected so far.