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Department of Biological Science

at Florida State University

Biological Science Faculty Member

Dr. Darin R. Rokyta

  • Office: 4061 King Life Sciences
  • Office: (850) 645-8812
  • Lab: King Life Sciences
  • Lab: (850) 645-8817
  • Fax: (850) 645-8447
  • Mail code: 4295
  • E-mail: drokyta@bio.fsu.edu
Dr. Darin R. Rokyta

Laboratory Home Page

Associate Professor
Ph.D., University of Idaho, 2006
Graduate Faculty Status

POSITIONS AVAILABLE for postdoctoral investigators, graduate students, and undergraduate students.


Research and Professional Interests:

My research investigates the molecular and statistical properties of adaptive evolution. The overarching goal of my work is to develop a robust, quantitative model of adaptive evolution at the molecular level and the statistical methology to test the model predictions and assumptions, but the available empirical data are insufficient for evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of current models and guiding future efforts. My research therefore also involves generating empirical data sets using experimental evolution approaches.

Selected Publications:

Sackman AM, Rokyta DR. In press. Mutation-driven parallel evolution during viral adaptation. Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Margres MJ, Wray KP, Hassinger ATB, Ward MJ, McGivern JJ, Lemmon EM, Lemmon AR, Rokyta DR. In press. Quantity, not quality: rapid adaptation in a polygenic trait proceeded exclusively through expression differentiation. Molecular Biology and Evolution.

Margres MJ, Bigelow AT, Lemmon EM, Lemmon AR, Rokyta DR. 2017. Selection to increase expression, not sequence diversity, precedes gene family origin and expansion in rattlesnake venom. Genetics 206: 1569–1580.

Rokyta DR, Margres MJ, Ward MJ, Sánchez EE. 2017. The genetics of venom ontogeny in the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus). PeerJ 5: e3249.

Rokyta DR, Ward MJ. 2017. Venom-gland transcriptomics and venom proteomics of the black-back scorpion (Hadrurus spadix) reveal detectability challenges and an unexplored realm of animal toxin diversity. Toxicon 128: 23–37.

Pearson VM, Caudle SB, Rokyta DR. 2016. Viral recombination blurs taxonomic lines: examination of single-stranded DNA viruses in a wastewater treatment plant. PeerJ 4: e2585.

Margres MJ, Walls R, Suntravat M, Lucena S, Sánchez EE, Rokyta DR. 2016. Functional characterizations of venom phenotypes in the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) and evidence for expression-driven divergence in toxic activities among populations. Toxicon 119: 28–38.

McGee LW, Sackman A, Morrison AJ, Pierce J, Anisman J, Rokyta DR. 2016. Synergistic pleiotropy overrides the costs of complexity in viral adaptation. Genetics 202: 285–295.

Margres MJ, Wray KP, Seavy M, McGivern JJ, Herrera ND, Rokyta DR. 2016. Expression differentiation is constrained to low-expression proteins over ecological timescales. Genetics 202: 273–283.

Sackman AM, Reed D, Rokyta DR. 2015. Intergenic incompatibilities reduce fitness in hybrids of extremely closely related bacteriophages. PeerJ 3: e1320.

Rokyta DR, Margres MJ, Calvin K. 2015. Post-transcriptional mechanisms contribute little to phenotypic variation in snake venoms. G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics 5: 2375–2382.

Wray KP, Ward M, Rokyta DR. 2015. The establishment of the exotic centipede Rhysida longipes longipes (Newport, 1845; Scolopendramorpha: Scolopendridae: Otostigminae) in south Florida. Florida Entomologist 98: 979–980.

Margres MJ, Wray KP, Seavy M, McGivern JJ, Sanader D, Rokyta DR. 2015. Phenotypic integration in the feeding system of the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus). Molecular Ecology 24: 3405–3420.

Rokyta D. R., K. P. Wray, J. J McGivern, and M. J. Margres. 2015. The transcriptomic and proteomic basis for the evolution of a novel venom phenotype within the Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus). Toxicon 98:34-48.

Wray K. P., M. J. Margres, M. Seavy, and D. R. Rokyta. 2015. Early significant ontogenetic changes in snake venoms. Toxicon 96:74-81.

Margres M. J., J. J. McGivern, M. Seavy, K. P. Wray, J. Facente, and D. R. Rokyta. 2015. Contrasting modes and tempos of venom expression evolution in two snake species. Genetics 199:165-176.

McGivern J. J., K. P. Wray, M. J. Margres, M. E. Couch, S. P. Mackessy, and D. R. Rokyta. 2014. RNA-seq and high-definition mass spectrometry reveal the complex and divergent venoms of two rear-fanged colubrid snakes. BMC Genomics 15:1061.

McGee, L. W., E. W. Aitchison, S. B. Caudle, A. J. Morrison, L. Zheng, W. Yang, and D. R. Rokyta. 2014. Payoffs, not tradeoffs, in the adaptation of a virus to ostensibly conflicting selective pressures. PLoS Genetics 10:e1004611.

Caudle, S. B., C. R. Miller, and D. R. Rokyta. 2014. Environment determines epistatic patterns for a ssDNA virus. Genetics 196:267-279.

Margres, M. J., J. J. McGivern, K. P. Wray, M. Seavy, K. Calvin, and D. R. Rokyta. 2014. Linking the transcriptome and proteome to characterize the venom of the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus). Journal of Proteomics 96C:145-158.

Sackman, A. M. and D. R. Rokyta. 2013. The adaptive potential of hybridization demonstrated with bacteriophages. Journal of Molecular Evolution 77:221-230.

Margres, M. J., K. Aronow, J. Loyacano, and D. R. Rokyta. 2013. The venom-gland transcritome of the eastern coral snake (Micrurus fulvius) reveals high venom complexity in the intragenomic evolution of venoms. BMC Genomics 14:531.

Rokyta, D. R., K. P. Wray, and M. J. Margres. 2013. The genesis of an exceptionally lethal venom in the timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) revealed through comparative venom-gland transcriptomics. BMC Genomics 14:394.

Pearson, V. M., C. R. Miller, and D. R. Rokyta. 2012. The consistency of beneficial fitness effects of mutations across diverse genetic backgrounds. PLoS One 7:e43864.

Rokyta, D. R., A. R. Lemmon, M. J. Margres, and K. Aronow. 2012. The venom-gland transcriptome of the eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus). BMC Genomics 13:312.

Rokyta, D. R., P. Joyce, S. B. Caudle, C. Miller, C. J. Beisel, and H. A. Wichman. 2011. Epistasis between benecial mutations and the phenotype-to-fitness map for a ssDNA virus. PLoS Genetics 7:e1002075.

Rokyta, D. R., K. P. Wray, A. R. Lemmon, E. C. Moriarty Lemmon, and S. B. Caudle. 2011. A high-throughput venom-gland transcriptome for the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) and evidence for pervasive positive selection across toxin classes. Toxicon 57:657-671.

Rokyta, D. R., and H. A. Wichman. 2009. Genic incompatibilities in two hybrid bacteriophages. Molecular Biology and Evolution 26:2831-2839.

Rokyta, D. R., Z. Abdo, and H. A. Wichman. 2009. The genetics of adaptation for eight microvirid bacteriophages. Journal of Molecular Evolution 69:229-239.

Joyce, P., D. R. Rokyta, C. J. Beisel, and H. A. Orr. 2008. A general extreme value theory model for the adaptation of DNA sequences under strong selection and weak mutation. Genetics 180:1627-1643.

Rokyta, D. R., C. J. Beisel, P. Joyce, M. T. Ferris, C. L. Burch, and H. A. Wichman. 2008. Beneficial fitness effects are not exponential for two viruses. Journal of Molecular Evolution 67:368-376.

Beisel, C. J., D. R. Rokyta, H. A. Wichman, and P. Joyce. 2007. Testing the extreme value domain of attraction for distributions of beneficial fitness effects. Genetics 176:2441-2449.

Rokyta, D. R., C. J. Beisel, and P. Joyce. 2006. Properties of adaptive walks on uncorrelated landscapes under strong selection and weak mutation. Journal of Theoretical Biology 243:114120.

Rokyta, D. R., C. L. Burch, S. B. Caudle, and H. A. Wichman. 2006. Horizontal gene transfer and the evolution of microvirid coliphage genomes. Journal of Bacteriology 188:11341142 (featured on the cover).

Rokyta, D. R., P. Joyce, S. B. Caudle, and H. A. Wichman. 2005. An empirical test of the mutational landscape model of adaptation using a single-stranded DNA virus. Nature Genetics 37: 441444 (featured in News and Views).

Bull, J. J., M. R. Badgett, D. Rokyta, and I. J. Molineux. 2003. Experimental evolution yields hundreds of mutations in a functional viral genome. Journal of Molecular Evolution 57:241248.

Rokyta, D., M. R. Badgett, I. J. Molineux, and J. J. Bull. 2002. Experimental genomic evolution: extensive compensation for loss of DNA ligase activity in a virus. Molecular Biology and Evolution 19:230238.

Postdoctoral Associates:

Whittington, Carl

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