Daniele Armaleo

Associate Professor of the Practice of Biology

0052 Bio Sci Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Campus Box: 
Box 90338, Durham, NC 27708-0338
(919) 660-7326
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.


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

Armaleo, D, and Clerc, P. "Lichen chimeras: DNA analysis suggests that one fungus forms two morphotypes." Experimental Mycology 15, no. 1 (1991): 1-10.

Armaleo, D, Ye, GN, Klein, TM, Shark, KB, Sanford, JC, and Johnston, SA. "Biolistic nuclear transformation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae and other fungi." Curr Genet 17, no. 2 (February 1990): 97-103.

Armaleo, D. "A note on RNA polymerase phylogeny." J Theor Biol 131, no. 1 (March 7, 1988): 135-136. (Letter)

Armaleo, D. "Structure and evolution of prokaryotic and eukaryotic RNA polymerases: a model." J Theor Biol 127, no. 3 (August 7, 1987): 301-314.

Armaleo, D, and Gross, SR. "Structural studies on Neurospora RNA polymerases and associated proteins." J Biol Chem 260, no. 30 (December 25, 1985): 16174-16180.

Armaleo, D, and Gross, SR. "Purification of the three nuclear RNA polymerases from Neurospora crassa." J Biol Chem 260, no. 30 (December 25, 1985): 16169-16173.

Armaleo, D, Fischer, M, and Gross, SR. "Effect of alpha-isopropylmalate on the synthesis of RNA and protein in Neurospora." Mol Gen Genet 200, no. 2 (1985): 346-349.

Bandiera, M, Armaleo, D, and Morpurgo, G. "Mitotic intragenic recombination as a consequence of heteroduplex formation in Aspergillus nidulans." Mol Gen Genet 122, no. 2 (April 12, 1973): 137-148.