Ci Fu

Heitman – Lab Members

Headshot of Ci FuPost-Doctoral Fellow
320 CARL Building
Box 3546 DUMC
Durham, N.C. 27710
Phone: 919.684.3036
Fax: 919.684.2790

My name is Ci Fu, and I am from China. I obtained my Doctorate degree in Dr. Stephen J Free’s laboratory. My thesis work focused on cell-to-cell fusion in Neurspora crassa. I carried out a genome-wide gene deletion mutant screen and identified novel genes that are required for cell-to-cell fusion. And I further characterized three of the novel genes, ham-6, ham-7 and ham-8, function upstream of MAK-1 MAP (mitogen activated protein) kinase pathway during cell-to-cell fusion. Besides my thesis project, I have also worked on characterization of genes that are involved in cell wall biosynthesis pathway.

My research focuses on the elucidation of the mating mechanisms in the Cryptococcus neoformans species complex. Specifically, I am interested in: 1) the endoreplication pathway that regulates ploidy duplication during unisexual reproduction; 2) karyogamy machinery differences that drive distinct karyogamy events during bisexual reproduction between C. neoformans and C. deneoformans; 3) the calcineurin pathway that regulates morphogenesis during unisexual reproduction.



Fu C, Iyer P, Herkal A, Abdullah J, Stout A, Free SJ. Identification and characterization of genes required for cell-to-cell fusion in Neurospora crassa. Eukaryot Cell. 2011;10(8):1100-9.

Maddi A, Dettman A, Fu C, Seiler S, Free SJ. WSC-1 and HAM-7 are MAK-1 MAP kinase pathway sensors required for cell wall integrity and hyphal fusion in Neurospora crassa. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(8):e42374.

Maddi A, Fu C, Free SJ. The Neurospora crassa dfg5 and dcw1 genes encode alpha-1,6-mannanases that function in the incorporation of glycoproteins into the cell wall. PLoS ONE. 2012;7(6):e38872.

Chinnici JL, Fu C, Caccamise LM, Arnold JW, Free SJ. Neurospora crassa female development requires the PACC and other signal transduction pathways, transcription factors, chromatin remodeling, cell-to-cell fusion, and autophagy. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(10):e110603.

Fu C, Ao J, Dettmann A, Seiler S, Free SJ. Characterization of the Neurospora crassa cell fusion proteins, HAM-6, HAM-7, HAM-8, HAM-9, HAM-10, AMPH-1 and WHI-2. PLoS ONE. 2014;9(10):e107773.

Fu C, Sokolow E, Rupert CB, Free SJ. The Neurospora crassa CPS-1 polysaccharide synthase functions in cell wall biosynthesis. Fungal Genet Biol. 2014;69:23-30.

Fu C, Tanaka A, Free SJ. Neurospora crassa 1,3-alpha-glucan synthase, AGS-1, is required for cell wall biosynthesis during macroconidia development. Microbiology. 2014;160(Pt 8):1618-27.

Fu C, Sun S, Billmyre RB, Roach KC, Heitman J. Unisexual versus bisexual mating in Cryptococcus neoformans: Consequences and biological impacts. Fungal Genet Biol. 2015;78:65-75.

Park HS, Chow EW, Fu C, Soderblom EJ, Moseley MA, Heitman J, et al. Calcineurin targets involved in stress survival and fungal virulence. PLoS Pathog. 2016;12(9):e1005873.

Fu C, Heitman J. PRM1 and KAR5 function in cell-cell fusion and karyogamy to drive distinct bisexual and unisexual cycles in the Cryptococcus pathogenic species complex. PLoS Genet. 2017;13(11):e1007113.

Fu C, Donadio N, Cardenas ME, Heitman J. Dissecting the roles of the calcineurin pathway in unisexual reproduction, stress responses, and virulence in Cryptococcus deneoformans. Genetics. 2018;208(2):639-53.

Jung WH, Son YE, Oh SH, Fu C, Kim HS, Kwak JH, et al. Had1 is required for cell wall integrity and fungal virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans. G3 (Bethesda). 2018;8(2):643-52.