The image shows a colony of the Flavobacterium IR1, 2 cm in diameter, growing on a nutrient agar plate. The cells in the colony are highly organised, thus forming a 2-D photonic crystal that interferes with light. This results in structurally coloured bright and angle-specific hues with a concentric ring pattern indicating subtle changes in organisation. The older cells of IR1 in the colony centre are more disorganised and therefore loses colour. IR1 can be genetically modified from this wild-type strain to create new, living photonic structures.