Marcia David Palma, PhD

Heitman Lab

Post-Doctoral Associate
Box 3546
317 CARL Building
Durham, NC 27710
Phone: 919-684-0278
Fax: 919-684-2790


Research Interest: I obtained my Doctorate degree in Biology, specializing in Molecular Genetics at FCT-UNL, Portugal. My thesis focused on the molecular characterization of the homothallic life cycle of a basidiomycete fungus (Phaffia rhodozyma) through genetic engineering and comparative genomics. That work allowed, for the first time, the elucidation of the basic molecular mechanisms governing the life cycle of a primary homothallic basidiomycete. My research interests include the characterization of reproductive systems in basidiomycetes, with special focus in homothallism, both in its molecular characterization and its evolutionary impact. I’m also interested in the molecular mechanisms by which transitions between homothallic and heterothallic mating behaviors may occur in the Basidiomycota.  At the Heitman lab I will be mainly focusing on the elucidation of unisexual reproduction within the Cryptococcus species complex.

Personal Interests: In addition to Science in general, I’m interested in the visual arts, specially Photography and Painting. I also enjoy reading, swimming and hiking.

Publications List:

David-Palma M, Sampaio JP, Gonçalves P. 2016. Genetic Dissection of Sexual Reproduction in a Primary Homothallic Basidiomycete. PLoS Genet. 12:e1006110. DOI:10.1371/journal.pgen.1006110

Bellora N, Moliné M, David-Palma M, Coelho MA, Hittinger CT, Sampaio JP, Gonçalves P, Libkind D. 2016. Comparative genomics provides new insights into the diversity, physiology, and sexuality of the only industrially exploited tremellomycete: Phaffia rhodozyma. BMC Genomics. 17:901. DOI:10.1186/s12864-016-3244-7

David-Palma M, Libkind D, Sampaio JP. 2014. Global distribution, diversity hotspots and niche transitions of an astaxanthin-producing eukaryotic microbe. Molecular Ecology 23: 921-932. DOI:10.1111/mec.12642