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Jody Banks

Botany and Plant Pathology 

  • Professor
Whistler Hall Room B028

We are involved in two research projects that involve fern gametophytes.  One is to discover genes necessary and sufficient for sex determination in the fern Ceratopteris richardii.  In this species, the sex of the gametophyte (male or hermaphroditic) is determined by the sex pheromone antheridiogen.  It is secreted by hermaphrodites and induces young gametophytes to develop as males.  Our second project is to understand how the fern Pteris vittata is able to tolerate and accumulate very high levels of the toxin arsenic.  To discover sex determining genes in Ceratopteris and genes involved in arsenic tolerance in Pteris, we are currently using RNA-seq to identify genes differentially regulated by either the sex-determining pheromone or arsenic.

Selected Publications

Atallah, N. M., & Banks, J. (in press). Reproduction and the pheromonal regulation of sex type in fern gametophytes. Frontiers in Plant Science.

Sessa, E. B., Banks, J., Barker, M. S., Der, J. P., Duffy, A. M., Graham, S. W., & Mitsuyasu, M. (2014). Between two fern genomes. GigaScience, 3(1), 15.

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.

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