Duke University Medical Center
Faculty and Research

Heitman Lab Members

Sheng Sun
Post-Doctoral Fellow

320 CARL Building
Box 3546 DUMC
Durham, N.C. 27710

Phone: 919.684.3036
Fax: 919.684.5458
Email: sheng.sun@duke.edu

Sheng Sun

My research mainly focuses on 1) the evolution of mating type locus (MAT) in fungi, with emphasis on Cryptococcus neoformans and its closely related species; 2) meiotic recombination during same-sex and opposite-sex mating in Cryptococcus neoformans, and 3) uniparental mitochondrial inheritance in Cryptococcus amylolentus and Cryptococcus neoformans, the mechanisms and the evolutionary consequences.


1. Fu C, Sun S, Billmyre RB, Roach KC, Heitman J Unisexual versus bisexual mating in Cryptococcus neoformans: Consequences and biological impacts. Fungal Genetics and Biology.

2. Roach KC, Feretzaki M, Sun S, Heitman J (2014) Chapter Five - Unisexual Reproduction. In: Theodore Friedmann JCD, Stephen FG, editors. Advances in Genetics: Academic Press. pp. 255-305.

3. Janbon G, Ormerod KL, Paulet D, Byrnes EJ, III, Yadav V, et al. (2014) Analysis of the genome and transcriptome of Cryptococcus neoformans var. grubii reveals complex RNA expression and microevolution leading to virulence attenuation. PLoS Genet 10: e1004261.

4. Lee SC, Sun S, Heitman J (2014) Unseen sex in ancient virgin fungi. New Phytologist 201: 3-5.

5. James TY, Sun S, Li W, Heitman J, Kuo H-C, et al. (2013) Polyporales genomes reveal the genetic architecture underlying tetrapolar and bipolar mating systems. Mycologia 105(6):1374-90. [Epub 2013 Aug 8].

6. Heitman J, Sun S, James TY (2013) Evolution of fungal sexual reproduction. Mycologia 105: 1-27.

7. Lee SC, Phadke S, Sun S, Heitman J (2012) Pseudohyphal growth of Cryptococcus neoformans is a reversible dimorphic transition in response to ammonium and requires the Amt1/2 ammonium permeases. Eukaryotic Cell 11: 1391-1398.

8. Sun S, Heitman J (2012) Should Y stay or should Y go: The evolution of non-recombining sex chromosomes. Bioessays 34: 938-942.

9. Wang X, Wang P, Sun S, Darwiche S, Idnurm A, et al. (2012) Transgene induced co-suppression during vegetative growth in Cryptococcus neoformans. PLoS Genet 8: e1002885.

10. Sun S, Hsueh Y-P, Heitman J (2012) Gene conversion occurs within the mating-type locus of Cryptococcus neoformans during sexual reproduction. PLoS Genet 8: e1002810.

11. Floudas D, Binder M, Riley R, Barry K, Blanchette RA, et al. (2012) The paleozoic origin of enzymatic lignin decomposition reconstructed from 31 fungal genomes. Science 336: 1715-1719.

12. Wang X, Li W, Sun S, Kozubowski L, Lee S, et al. (2012) Know your enemy: how to build and vanquish a global fungal scourge. Mycopathologia 173: 295-301.

13. Findley K, Sun S, Fraser JA, Hsueh Y-P, Averette AF, et al. (2012) Discovery of a modified tetrapolar sexual cycle in Cryptococcus amylolentus and the evolution of MAT in the Cryptococcus species complex. PLoS Genet 8: e1002528.

14. Ni M, Feretzaki M, Sun S, Wang X, Heitman J (2011) Sex in fungi. Annual Review of Genetics 45: 405-430.

15. Sun S, Heitman J (2011) Is sex necessary? BMC Biology 9: 56.

16. Sun S, Metin B, Findley K, Fonseca A, Heitman J (2011) Validation of Kwoniella heveanensis, teleomorph of the basidiomycetous yeast Cryptococcus heveanensis. Mycotaxon 116: 227-229.

17. Rodriguez-Carres M, Findley K, Sun S, Dietrich FS, Heitman J (2010) Morphological and genomic characterization of Filobasidiella depauperata: a homothallic sibling species of the pathogenic Cryptococcus species complex. PLoS ONE 5: e9620.


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