Daniele Armaleo

Associate Professor of the Practice of Biology

Office: 
0052 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
90338
Phone: 
(919) 660-7326
Fax: 
(919) 660-7293

Research Interests: 

My research centers on the developmental and molecular biology of lichens, well differentiated symbioses between two or three evolutionarily unrelated organisms: specialized fungi on the one hand and algae or cyanobacteria on the other. The 13,500 known lichen species represent 50% of all known ascomycete fungi, are widespread throughout most terrestrial ecosystems, and often tolerate extreme temperatures and dryness. The photosynthetic partner is known to fix the carbon (and the nitrogen when cyanobacteria are involved) necessary for the survival of both symbionts. Lichen fungi and algae can be cultured separately, in an undifferentiated state. However, the in vitro reconstitution of a differentiated lichen from the isolated symbionts is still more of an art than a science. We use as model system the lichen Cladonia grayi and its isolated symbionts. One track is the genomic analysis of C. grayi. Another track involves the study of depsides, depsidones and dibenzofurans, a unique polyketide class of secondary metabolites produced by lichen fungi and probably central to the symbiosis. A third track seeks to develop an in vitro model for the lichenization process, using axenically cultured symbiotic partners.

My research centers on the developmental and
molecular biology of lichens, well
differentiated symbioses
between two or three evolutionarily unrelated organisms:
specialized
fungi on the one hand and algae or
cyanobacteria on the
other. The 13,500 known lichen species
represent 50% of
all known ascomycete fungi, are widespread
throughout
most terrestrial ecosystems, and often
tolerate extreme
temperatures and dryness. The
photosynthetic partner is
known to fix the carbon (and the nitrogen
when
cyanobacteria are involved) necessary for
the survival of
both symbionts. Lichen fungi and algae can
be cultured
separately, in an undifferentiated state.
However, the in
vitro reconstitution of a differentiated lichen
from the
isolated symbionts is still more of an art than
a science. We use as model system the lichen Cladonia grayi and its isolated symbionts. One track is the genomic analysis of C. grayi. Another track involves the study of depsides, depsidones and dibenzofurans, a unique polyketide class of secondary metabolites produced by lichen fungi and probably central to the symbiosis. A third track seeks to develop an in vitro model for the lichenization process, using axenically cultured symbiotic partners.

Education

  • Ph.D. 1984, Duke University School of Medicine

Papers Published

Insights from the first putative biosynthetic gene cluster for a lichen depside and depsidone., July, 2011
Armaleo, D; Sun, X; Culberson, C, Mycologia. (July, 2011) 103 vol. (4); pp. 741-754

Fungal and algal gene expression in early developmental stages of lichen-symbiosis., September 19, 2010
Joneson, S; Armaleo, D; Lutzoni, F, Mycologia. (September 19, 2010) 103 vol. (2); pp. 291-306

Sizing the fungal and algal genomes of the lichen Cladonia grayi through quantitative PCR, 0, 2009
Armaleo, D; May, S, Symbiosis. 49 vol. (1); pp. 43-51

Light might regulate divergently depside and depsidone accumulation in the lichen Parmotrema hypotropum by affecting thallus temperature and water potential., 7, 2008
Armaleo, D; Zhang, Y; Cheung, S, Mycologia. 100 vol. (4); pp. 565-576

Symbiosis and DNA methylation in the Cladonia lichen fungus, 1999
Armaleo, D; Miao, V, Symbiosis. (1999) 26 vol. (2); pp. 143-163

A rapid and inexpensive method for the purification of DNA from lichens and their symbionts, 1995
Armaleo, D; Clerc, P, Lichenologist. (1995) 27 vol. (PART 3); pp. 207-213

Factors affecting depside and depsidone biosynthesis in a cultured lichen fungus, 1992
Armaleo, D, Cryptogamic Botany. (1992) 5 pp. 14-21

Induction of a complete secondary-product pathway in a cultured lichen fungus, 1992
Culberson, CF; Armaleo, D, Experimental Mycology. (1992) 16 vol. (1); pp. 53-63

Induction of a complete secondary-product pathway in a cultured lichen fungus, 0, 1992
Culberson, CF; Armaleo, D, Fungal Genetics and Biology. 16 vol. (1); pp. 52-63

Lichen chimeras: DNA analysis suggests that one fungus forms two morphotypes, 1991
Armaleo, D; Clerc, P, Fungal Genetics and Biology. (1991) 15 vol. (1); pp. 1-10

EXPERIMENTAL MICROBIOLOGY OF LICHENS - MYCELIA FRAGMENTATION, A NOVEL GROWTH CHAMBER, AND THE ORIGINS OF THALLUS DIFFERENTIATION, 1991
ARMALEO, D, Symbiosis. (1991) 11 vol. (2-3); pp. 163-177

Biolistic nuclear transformation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and other fungi., 1990
Armaleo, D; Ye, GN; Klein, TM; Shark, KB; Sanford, JC; Johnston, SA, Current Genetics. (1990) 17 vol. (2); pp. 97-103

A note on RNA polymerase phylogeny., 3, 1988
Armaleo, D, Journal of Theoretical Biology. 131 vol. (1); pp. 135-136

Structure and evolution of prokaryotic and eukaryotic RNA polymerases: a model., 1987
Armaleo, D, Journal of Theoretical Biology. (1987) 127 vol. (3); pp. 301-314

Purification of the three nuclear RNA polymerases from Neurospora crassa., 1985
Armaleo, D; Gross, SR, The Journal of biological chemistry. (1985) 260 vol. (30); pp. 16169-16173

Structural studies on Neurospora RNA polymerases and associated proteins., 1985
Armaleo, D; Gross, SR, The Journal of biological chemistry. (1985) 260 vol. (30); pp. 16174-16180

Effect of alpha-isopropylmalate on the synthesis of RNA and protein in Neurospora., 1985
Armaleo, D; Fischer, M; Gross, SR, Molecular & general genetics : MGG. (1985) 200 vol. (2); pp. 346-349

Mitotic intragenic recombination as a consequence of heteroduplex formation in Aspergillus nidulans., 4, 1973
Bandiera, M; Armaleo, D; Morpurgo, G, Molecular & general genetics : MGG. 122 vol. (2); pp. 137-148

Published Abstracts

Systems Biology of Lichen Systems: Pure Cultures of Cladonia grayi and Lichen- Dominated Biological Soil Crusts, 2011 Genomic Science Annual Contractor-Grantee Meeting/USDA-DOE Plant Feedstock Genomics for Bioenergy Program Meeting, Crystal City, Vi... in April, 2011
Daniele Armaleo, Francois Lutzoni, Frank Collart, Scott Baker, and Jon Magnuson

Awards

  • 2012 Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award, Unknown