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

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

Banks, J., Harholt, J., SÀrensen, I., Fangel, J., Roberts, A., Willats, W., Scheller, H., . . . Ulvskov, P. (2012). The glycosyltransferase repertoire of the spikemoss Selaginella moellendorffii and a comparative study of its cell wall. PLOS One, 7(5), e35846.

Nishiyama, T., & Hasebe, T. (2011). The Selaginella genome identifies genetic changes associated with the evolution of vascular plants. Science, 332(6032), 960-963.

Indriolo, E., Na, G., Ellis, D., & Salt, D. (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.

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

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

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

Weng, 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.

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