Marilyn J. Roossinck, Ph.D.

  • Professor, Plant Pathology and Environmental Microbiology, and Biology
  • Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics, Huck Institute of Life Sciences
Marilyn J. Roossinck, Ph.D.
Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics
W229A Millennium Science Complex
The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802
Work Phone: 814-865-2292
Fax: 814-863-7217

Areas of Expertise

  • Adaptation to extreme environments with microbes


  1. Ph.D., University of Colorado School of Medicine

Areas of Interest:

Our focus in the Roossinck lab is on virus-plant and virus-fungus-plant interactions in virus evolution and ecology.  

We use Cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) as a model virus for experimental evolution studies, including generation and maintenance of quasispecies, rates of recombination, and polymerase fidelity.

We are interested in how plants use viruses in adaptation to extreme environments. Fungal viruses are involved in plants adapting to geothermal soils in Yellowstone National Park, and acute plant viruses confer drought and cold tolerance to plants.  We are studying the mechanisms of these interactions.

We are interested in the biodiversity of plant viruses.  We are studying viruses in wild plants in Costa Rica using next-gen sequence analysis of viral RNA from individual plants.  To date we have collected about 14,000 plants and have analyzed about half of them.

Recent Publications:


Roossinck, Marilyn J. Virus: An Illustrated Guide to 101 Incredible Microbes. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016.

Research papers:

Simmonds, P., M.J. Adams, M. Benko, M. Breitbart, J.R. Brister, E.B. Carstens, A.J. Davison, E. Delwart, A.E. Gorbalenya, B. Harrach, R. Hull, A.M.Q. King, E.V. Koonin, M. Kuprovic,  J.H.Kuhn, E.J. Lefkowitz, M.L. Nibert, R. Orton, M.J. Roossinck, S. Sabanadzovic, M.B. Sullivan, C.A. Suttle, R.B. Tesh, R.A. vanderVlugt, A.Varsani, F.M. Zerbina. 2017. Consensus: Virus taxonomy in the age of metagenomics. Nature Reviews Microbiology,  15: 161-168

Ali, Akhtar, and M.J. Roossinck. 2017.  Analysis of quasispeces variation in single and mixed infections. Virus Evolution, 3 (2) vex037

Thapa, V., G.G. Turner, S. Hafenstein, B.E. Overton, K.J. Vanderwolf, M.J. Roossinck. 2016. Using a novel partitivirus in Pseudogymnoascus destructans to understand the epidemiology of white-nose syndrome. PLOS Pathogens 12:e1006076.

Min, B.-E., T.S. Feldman, A. Ali, G. Wiley, V. Muthukumar,  B.A. Roe, M. J. Roossinck, U. Melcher, M. W. Palmer, R. S. Nelson. 2012. Cloning, ecological and epidemiological analysis of a novel tymovirus in Asclepias viridis from Oklahoma. Phytopathology 102:166-176. 

Stobbe, A.H.,  U. Melcher, M.W. Palmer, M. J. Roossinck, and G. Shen. 2012.  Co-divergence and host-switching in the evolution of tobamoviruses.  J. Gen. Virol. 93:408-418.

Feldman, T.S., M.R. Morsy, and M. J. Roossinck. 2012.  Are communities of microbial symbionts more diverse than communities of macrobial hosts? Fungal Biology 116: 465-477.

Thapa, V.  U. Melcher, G. B. Wiley, A. Doust, M. W. Palmer, K. Roewe, B. A. Roe, G. Shen, and M. J. Roossinck. 2012.  Detection of Members of the Secoviridae in the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, Osage County, Oklahoma USA Virus Res. 167:34-42.

Xu, P. H. Wang, F. Coker, J-Y Ma, Y. Tang, ME Taylor and MJ Roossinck 2012.  Genetic loci controlling lethal cell death in tomato caused by viral satellite RNA infection.  Mol. Plant-Microbe Interact. 25:1034-1044

Pita, J. S., and M. J. Roossinck.  2013. Mapping viral functional domains for genetic diversity in plants. J. Virol. 87:790-797

Pita, J.S. and M.J. Roossinck. 2013. Fixation of emerging inter-viral recombinants in Cucumber mosaic virus populations is controlled by the replicase. J. Virol. 87:1264-1269

MacDiarmid, R., B. Rodoni, U. Melcher, F. Ochoa-Corona, and M.J. Roossinck. 2013. Biosecurity implications of new technology in plant virus research. PLoS Pathogens 9:8

Du, Z., A. Chen, W. Chen, Q. Liao, H. Zhang, Y. Bao, M.J. Roossinck, and J.P. Carr. 2014.  Nuclearcytoplasmic partitioning of Cucumber mosaic virus protein 2b determines the balance between its roles as a virulence determinant and an RNA-silencing suppressor. J. Virol. 88:5228-5241.

Peyambari, M., M.K. Habibi, K-B. Fotouhifar, A Dizadji, and M.J. Roossinck. 2014.  Molecular characterization of a novel putative partitivurs infecting Cytospora sacchari, a plant pathogenic fungus.  Plant Pathol. J. 30:151-158.


Ouedraogo, R.S. and M.J. Roossinck. 2017. Chapter 18, Molecular Evolution, in Cucumber mosaic virus, P. Palukaitis and F. García-Arenal, editors. in press.

Roossinck, M.J.  and F. García-Arenal.  Chapter 25. Evolution of Cucumber mosaic virus Satellite RNAs, in Cucumber mosaic virus, P. Palukaitis and F. García-Arenal, editors. in press.

 Roossinck, M.J. 2016. Environmental Virology:  How domestic viruses impact wild species. Curr. Op. Virol. 19:v-vi

 Kim, M. and M.J. Roossinck. 2016. Small Linear Satellite RNAs. in Viroids and Plant Viral Satellite RNAs, P. Palikaitis, ed. in press.

Roossinck, M.J. 2016. Deep sequencing for discovery and evolutionary analysis of plant viruses. Virus Research invited review

Stobbe, A., and M.J. Roossinck. 2016. Plant virus diversity and evolution. in Current Research Topics in Plant Virology, A. Wang, ed. pp. 197-215.

Roossinck, M.J. 2016. Evolution of persistent viruses in plants. in Virus Evolution. Weaver, Roossinck, Denison and Vignuzzi. pp. 263-272.

Roossinck, M.J. 2015. Move over bacteria!  Viruses make their mark as mutualistic symbionts. J. Virol. invited JEMS article, 89:1-3

 Roossinck, M.J. 2015.  Plants, viruses and the environment:  ecology and mutualism.  Virology 60th Anniversary edition 479-480:271-277.

Roossinck, M.J., D.P. Martin and P. Roumagnac. 2015.  Plant virus metagenomics: Applications for plant pathology. Phytopathology 105:716-727.

Roossinck M.J. 2015. A new look at plant viruses and their potential roles in crops.  Mol. Plant Pathol. 16:331-333 

Roossinck, M.J. and F. García-Arenal. 2015.  Ecosystem simplification, biodiversity loss and plant virus emergence. Curr. Op. Virology 10:56-62.

Roossinck, M.J. 2015.  Metagenomics of plant and fungal viruses reveals an abundance of persistent lifestyles. Frontiers in Microbiology 5:e787.

Stobbe, A.H. and M.J. Roossinck. 2015.  Plant Virus Metagenomics:  what we know and why we need to know more.  Frontiers in Plant Science 5:e150.

Safari, M. and M. J. Roossinck. 2014.  How does the genome structure and lifestyle of a virus affect its population variation?  Curr. Op Virology 9:39-44

Bao, X., and M. J. Roossinck. 2013.  A Life History View of Mutualistic Viral Symbioses: Quantity or Quality for Cooperation?  Curr. Op. Microbiol., 16:514-518.

Roossinck, M.J. 2013. Plant Virus Ecology. PLoS Pathogens 9(5): e1003304

Bao, X., and M. J. Roossinck. 2013. Multiplexed interactions:  viruses of endophytic fungi. Adv. in Virus Res. Adv. in Virus Res.  86:37-57.

Rodriguez, R.J., and M.J. Roossinck. 2012. Viruses, fungi and plants:  Cross-Kingdom Communication and Mutualism. in Biocommunication of Fungi, pp. 219-227

Roossinck, M. J. 2012. Persistent Plant Viruses:  Molecular Hitchhikers or Epigenetic Elements?  In Viruses:  Essential Agents of Life. pp 177-186.

Roossinck, M. J. 2012. Plant virus metagenomics:  Biodiversity and ecology.  Ann. Rev. Genetics 46:357-367.

Márquez, L. M. and M. J. Roossinck. 2012.  Do persistent viruses fit the trade-off hypothesis of virulence evolution?  Curr. Op. Virol. 2:556-560.

Roossinck, M. J. 2012.  Even viruses can be beneficial microbes.  Microbiol. Australia 33: 111-112