Dorith Rotenberg

Associate Professor


Address: Partners II, Suite 1400, Centennial Campus

840 Main Campus Drive

Raleigh, NC 27606

Phone: 919-515-5869

Professional Preparation

B.S., Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin – Madison 1990

M.S., Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin – Madison 1997

Ph.D., Plant Pathology, University of Wisconsin – Madison 2000


Professional Appointments

Associate Professor, North Carolina State University, Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, July 2017 – current

Research Associate Professor, Kansas State University, Department of Plant Pathology, July 2012 – July 2017

Research Assistant Professor, Kansas State University, Department of Plant Pathology, Sept 2006 – June 2012

Postdoctoral Research Associate, The Ohio State University – OARDC, Department of Plant Pathology, Jan 2006 – July 2006

Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Departments of Entomology and Plant Pathology, June 2004 – Nov 2005

Post-Doctoral Research Associate, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Department of Soil Science, Dec 2000 – Apr 2004

Research Scientist in Nematology, Stine Microbial Products, Madison, WI, Division of Stine Seed Co., Iowa, Dec 1990 – May 1994


Research Mission

I am the co-director of the Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Plant Disease Control, and I lead the international effort to sequence and annotate the first thrips genome ( My foundational research initiatives center on the long-range goal of identifying and characterizing insect vector determinants of plant virus transmission to crop plants using a combination of ecological and genomics-based tools. My program has generated vector genome and transcriptome sequence resources, and with these tools, I hope to develop integrative biotech-based strategies to specifically target vector and viral genes to combat vector-borne diseases of agronomic crops.


Research Team

  • Jinlong Han, Ph.D. student, Fall 2017 – present
  • Yesenia Ithai Angeles Lopez, Postdoctoral Research Associate, 2018 – present
  • Alma Laney, USDA-NIFA ELI Postdoctoral Fellow, 2014-present


Selected Publications (*as corresponding author)

Laney, A., Acosta-Leal, R., and *Rotenberg, D. An optimized yellow dwarf virus multiplex PCR assay reveals a common occurrence of Barley yellow dwarf virus-PAS in Kansas winter wheat. 2018. Plant Health Progress (in press).

Shrestha, A., Champagne, D.E., Culbreath, A.K., Rotenberg, D., Whitfield, A.E., and Srinivasan, R. 2017. Transcriptome changes associated with Tomato spotted wilt virus infection in various life stages of its thrips vector, Frankliniella fusca [Hinds]. Journal of General Virology: 98:2156-2170. (doi: 10.1099/jgv.0.000874).

Rotenberg, D., Martin, K., Whitfield, A. 2017. Insight into molecular basis of plant-infecting arbovirus persistence in the vector: Conserved responses to viruses in insects. Virology Highlights Blog, Elsevier (invited by editor of Virology).

Martin, K.M., Barandoc-Alviar, K., Schneweis, D.J., Stewart, C.L., *Rotenberg, D., and *Whitfield, A.E. 2017. Transcriptomic response of the insect vector, Peregrinus maidis, to Maize mosaic rhabdovirus and identification of conserved responses to propagative viruses in hopper vectors. Virology 509 (2017) 71–81

Schneweis, D.J., Whitfield, A.E., and *Rotenberg, D. 2017. Thrips developmental stage-specific transcriptome response to Tomato spotted wilt virus during the virus infection cycle in Frankliniella occidentalis, the primary vector. Virology 500: 226–237.

Montero-Astúa, M., Stafford, C., Badillo-Vargas, I., Rotenberg, D., Ullman, D.E., and Whitfield, A. E. 2016. Tospovirus-thrips biology. In Vector-Mediated Transmission of Plant Pathogens. J.K. Brown, ed. APS Press, pp. 289-309.

Barandoc-Alviar K., Ramirez, G.M., Rotenberg, D. and Whitfield, A.E. 2016. Analysis of acquisition and titer of Maize mosaic rhabdovirus in its vector, Peregrinus maidis (Hemiptera: Delphacidae). Journal of Insect Science 16:1-8.

*Rotenberg, D., Bockus, W. W., Whitfield, A.E., Hervey, K., Baker, K., Ou, Z., Laney, A., De Wolf, E.D., and Appel J.A. 2016. Occurrence of viruses and associated grain yields of paired symptomatic and nonsymptomatic tillers in Kansas winter wheat fields. Phytopathology 106:202-210.

Rotenberg, D., Jacobson, A., Schneweis, D., and Whitfield, A.E. 2015. Thrips transmission of tospoviruses. Current Opinion in Virology 15:80-89. *Featured on the cover.

Whitfield, A.E., Falk, B.W, Rotenberg, D.  2015. Insect vector-mediated transmission of plant viruses. Virology (invited review) 479-480:278-289.

Whitfield, A., and Rotenberg, D. 2015. Disruption of insect transmission of plant viruses. Current Opinion in Insect Science (invited review) 8:79-87.

Badillo-Vargas, I., Rotenberg, D., Schneweis, B.A., and Whitfield, A.E. 2015. Development of RNA interference tools for Frankliniella occidentalis. Journal of Insect Physiology 76:36-46. (doi: 10.1016/j.jinsphys.2015.03.009)

Montero-Astúa, M., Rotenberg, D., Leach-Kieffaber, A., Schneweis, B.A., Park, S., Park, J.K., German, T.L., and Whitfield, A.E. 2014. Disruption of vector transmission by a plant-expressed viral glycoprotein. Molecular Plant- Microbe Interactions 27:296-304.

Whitfield, A.E., Rotenberg, D., and German, T.L. 2014. Plant pest destruction goes viral. Nature Biotechnology 32:65-66.

Stafford-Banks, C.A., Rotenberg, D., Johnson, B.R., Whitfield, A.E., Ullman, D.E. Analysis of the salivary gland transcriptome of Frankliniella occidentalis. 2014. PLoS ONE 9(4): e94447.

Nachappa, P., Margolies, D.C., Nechols, J.R., Whitfield, A.E., and Rotenberg, D. 2013. Tomato spotted wilt virus benefits a non-vector arthropod, Tetranychus urticae, by modulating different plant responses in tomato. PLoS ONE 8(9): e75909.

Yao, J., Rotenberg, D., Afsharifar, A., Barandoc-Alviar K., Whitfield, A.E. 2013 Development of RNAi methods for Peregrinus maidis, the corn planthopper. PLoS ONE 8(8): e70243.

Jacobson, A.L., Johnston, .S. Rotenberg, D., Whitfield, A.E., Booth, W., Vargo, E.L., Kennedy, G.G. 2013. Genome size and ploidy of Thysanoptera.  Insect Molecular Biology 22: 12-17.

Badillo-Vargas, I., Rotenberg, D., Schneweis, D. J., Hiromasa, Y., Tomich, J. M., and Whitfield, A.E. 2012. Proteomic analysis of the first instar larvae of Frankliniella occidentalis, the insect vector of Tomato spotted wilt virus. Journal of Virology 86:8793-8809.

Johnson, W.A., J.R. Nechols, R.A. Cloyd, D. Rotenberg and M.M., Kennelly.  2012. Effect of light intensity on Brassica rapa chemistry and Plutella xylostella (Lepidoptera: Plutellidae) life history traits. J. Entomol. Science.  47(4): 327-349.

Johnson, W.A., R.A. Cloyd, J.R. Nechols, K.A. Williams, N.O. Nelson, D. Rotenberg, and M.M. Kennelly. 2012. Effect of nitrogen source on pac choi (Brassica rapa L.) chemistry and interactions with the diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella L.).  HortScience 47(10):1457–1465.

Whitfield, A.E., Rotenberg, D., Aritua, V., and Hogenhout, S.A. 2011. Analysis of expressed sequence tags from Maize mosaic rhabdovirus-infected gut tissues of Peregrinus maidis reveals the presence of key components of insect innate immunity. Insect Molecular Biology 20:225-242.

*Rotenberg, D., and Whitfield, A.E. 2010. Analysis of expressed sequence tags for Frankliniella occidentalis, the insect vector of Tomato spotted wilt virus. Insect Molecular Biology 19:537-551.

Rotenberg, D., Kumar, N.K.K., Ullman, D.E., Montero-Astúa, M., Willis, D.K., German, T.L., and Whitfield, A.E. 2009. Variation in tomato spotted wilt virus titer in Frankliniella occidentalis and its association with frequency of transmission. Phytopathology 99:404-410.

Whitfield, A. E., Kumar, N. K. K., Rotenberg, D., Willis, D.K., Ullman, D. E., and German, T.L. 2008. A soluble form of the tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) glycoprotein GN (GN-S) inhibits virus transmission by Frankliniella occidentalis.  Phytopathology 98:45-50.