NC State
Dr. Dorith Rotenberg's Lab



Dorith Rotenberg
Lead Investigator &
Director of Graduate Programs – Plant Pathology


Dr. Kirsten Lahre
Research Technician & Lab Manager

Research Projects: Identification of Sw-5 resistance-breaking (RB)
tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) genetic variants in North Carolina tomato fields; Characterize transgenic resistance to TSWV; Evaluate new sources of Sw R genes for new resistance to RB-TSWV isolates; Cloning and transient-expression of thrips saliva proteins in plant tissue to enable studies to identify thrips effectors; Evaluate potential dispersion of engineered plant virus vectors in mixed plant communities.


Lucas de Oliveira
Genetics and Genomics Scholar (GGS)
PhD Student in Plant Pathology

Thesis project: My PhD research is to uncover the roles that TSWV-interacting thrips proteins play with regards to viral acquisition and transmission. My hope is that discovering the function of these proteins will provide insights into molecular determinants of thrips vector competence, and a novel means towards disrupting pathogen transmission and spread in croplands.


Jake Seiter
NSF Graduate Research Fellow
PhD Student in Plant Pathology

Thesis project: My PhD research aims to understand the spatiotemporal dynamics of the Peregrinus maidis/maize mosaic virus (MMV) pathosystem in continuous maize cropping systems and to characterize the role of alternative plant-feeding and viral-reservoir hosts in the dispersal of maize mosaic virus in the landscape.  The long-term goal is to provide knowledge towards better management of vector-transmitted plant virus disease in the context of our changing climate.