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.