'Starry Night' As Drawn By Bacteria in a Petri Dish

And the rest of the winners from the American Society for Microbiology's Agar Art Contest.

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Melanie Sullivan

This year, the American Society for Microbiology held its inaugural , a competition to make beautiful works of art out of bacteria in a petri dish. Including idyllic countryside farms, a map of Manhattan, and a multi-dish homage to Vincent Van Gogh's "Starry Night," these works of infectious art really shine (some of them literally).

We've compiled the winners and some honorable mentions for you to enjoy. You can see all of the submissions as well as descriptions and artist statements .

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First Place: "Neurons" - Nesterenkonia, Deinococcus, and Sphingomonas bacteria. By Mehmet Berkmen and Maria Penil
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Second Place: "NYC Biome Map" - Bacteria on multiple petri dishes with fluorescent proteins under UV light. Crowdsourced
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Third Place: "Harvest Season" - Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast. By Maria Eugenia Inda
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People's Choice: "Cell to Cell" - Seinococcus and Sphingomonas bacteria. By Maria Penil
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Honorable Mention: "The Violet Louis Pasteur" - Chromobacterium violaceum bacteria. Anonymous
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Honorable Mention: "Flowering Sunshine" - Salmonella and Shigella bacteria. By Manal Hamed
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Honorable Mention: "Cells" - Nesterenkonia, Deinococcus, and Sphingomonas bacteria. Anonymous
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Honorable Mention: "The Wild Garden of the Gut Bacteria" - Escherichia coli, Citrobacter koseri, and Klebsiella pneumoniae bacteria. By Nicola Fawcett
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Honorable Mention: "Jellyfish" - Nesterenkonia, Deinococcus, Sphingomonas, and Bacillus bacteria. By Maria Penil
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Honorable Mention: "Yeast Go Viral" - Cerevisiae bacteria infected with L-A virus. By Paul Rowley
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Honorable Mention: "Bifidobacteria micro-flower" - Bifidobacterium animalis bacteria. By Nuria Castro
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