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Jody Banks

Botany and Plant Pathology 

  • Professor
Whistler Hall Room B028

Dr. Banks received a Ph.D. in Genetics from Ohio State University in 1985 then did a postdoc at the Carnegie Institution of Washington until 1989 working on the epigenetic regulation of Spm transposable elements in maize. After a short stint at McGill University, Banks moved to Purdue University in 1991 where she started a research program to study the interesting and unique biology of lower vascular plants.
Research in the Banks lab focuses on the following topics:
1. Banks led a community of scientists to sequence and annotate the genome of the spike moss Selaginella moellendorffii.  By comparing its genome to other land plant genomes we discovered that the remarkable transition from a non-vascular moss-like plant to a vascular plant involved relatively few genes.  We also found that Selaginella is likely to synthesize as many secondary compounds as an angiosperm, but they are likely to be unique.
2. Characterization of the Pteris vittata ACR3 gene and gene product, namely its role in arsenic tolerance and hyperaccumulation in this plant.  We are now examining the phenotypes of Arabidopsis plants overexpressing this gene (will they accumulate and tolerate arsenic?) as well as localizing the protein in Pteris and in transgenic Arabidopsis.

Selected Publications

Robinson, G., Banks, J., Padilla, D., Burggren, W., Cohen, C. S., Delwiche, C., . . . Tomanek, L. (2010). Empowering 21st Century biology. BioScience, 60, 923-930.

Indriolo, E., Na, G., Ellis, D., Salt, D., & Banks, J. (2010). A vacuolar arsenite transporter necessary for arsenic tolerance in the arsenic hyperaccumulating fern Pteris vittata is missing in flowering plants. Plant Cell, 22, 2045-2057.

Banks, J. (2009). Selaginella and 400 million years of separation. Annual Review of Plant Biology, 60, 223-238.

Chan, A., Melake-Berhan, A., O'Brien, K., Buckley, S., Quan, H., Chen, D., . . . Rabinowicz, P. D. (2008). The highest-copy repeats are methylated in the small genome of the early divergent vascular plant Selaginella moellendorffii. BMC Genomics, 12, 282-291.

Weng, J. K., Banks, J., & Chapple, C. (2008). Parallels in lignin biosynthesis: A study in Selaginella moellendorffii reveals convergence across 400 million years of evolution. Communicative and Integrative Biology, 1, 20-22.

Banks, J. (2008). MicroRNA, sex determination and floral meristem determinacy in maize. Genome Biology, 30, 204-207.

Hirano, K., Nakajima, M., Asano, K., Nishiyama, T., Sakakibara, H., Kojima, M., . . . Matsuoka, M. (2007). The GA perception mechanism mediated by the GID1/DELLA system is conserved in the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii but not in the bryophyte Pyscomitrella patens. Plant Cell, 19, 3058-3079.

Pickering, I. J., Gumaelius, L., Harris, H. H., Prince, R. C., Hirsch, G., Banks, J., . . . George, G. N. (2006). Localizing the biochemical transformations of arsenate in a hyperaccumulating fern. Environmental Science and Technology, 40, 5010-5014.

Banks, J., Ellis, D., Gumaelius, L., Indriolo, E., Pickering, I., & Salt, D. (2006). A unique arsenate reductase from the arsenic hyperaccumulating fern Pteris vittata. Plant Physiology, 141, 1544-1554.

Banks, J. (2005). Functional analysis and comparative genomics of expressed sequence tags from the lycophyte Selaginella moellendorffii.. BMC Genomics, 6, 85-91. Retrieved from