The yeast colors are first built on a plasmid with a pigment gene. This plasmid also gives an antibiotic resistance.
The plasmids are then transformed into yeast strains where the colors can be expressed and grown on the appropriate antibiotic.
The pieces are then designed using a drawing tablet to digitize the image.
The digital image is put through a program that breaks the image down to RGB color values that match to yeast colors we have in our stock. The program then yields an image and CSV file that can be printed with yeast!
The CSV file is then given to the Labcyte Echo 550, which uses acoustics to shoot precise nanoliter droplets onto a rectangular agar plate in the pattern from the CSV file. The plates are 192 pixels by 128 pixels, so the image can be made up of up to 24,576 droplets!
The plate is left to grow at 30˚C until the pigments begin to emerge, then placed in a cold room to intensify!