Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

John Horton




genetics, biology, fungus


The ultimate goal of this research project is to improve the growth and structural characteristics of an Ecovative Design LLC (Green Island, NY) production strain to produce commercial biomaterials for packaging. These biomaterials are produced from renewable resources and can be easily broken down after they fulfill their purpose, unlike the commonly used materials today (such as Styrofoam). In an effort to quantify the light-reactivity of the fungus, a codon-optimized DNA sequence coding a blue chromoprotein was introduced and utilized as a visual reporter gene. Transcriptional controlling sequences were identified from orthologs to specific light-regulated genes and were combined with a codon-optimized version of the coral Amil-CP Blue chromoprotein gene. This resulted in recombinant DNA constructs suitable for Agrobacterium-mediated transformation of the fungus. PCR and restriction enzyme digestion was used to verify the correct organization of the fragments making up each recombinant DNA molecule. Unfortunately, no evidence of the chromoprotein gene product could be detected by SDS-Polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis of total cell lysates from PCR-verified transformants. This research was supported by a grant to Ecovative Design from DARPA (BAA-16-50).