Dr. James T. Tambong

Image James T. Tambong
Research Scientist

Dr. Tambong's research is focussed on molecular bacterial taxonomy, phylogenomics, identification, detection, phylogenetics and biodiversity of plant pathogenic and agricultural beneficial (biocontrol) bacteria.

Current research and/or projects

  • Management and enhancement of AAFC's biological collections. The objectives of this project are: 1) Support the conservation of living genebank collections and preserved reference collections; 2) Improvement of technologies for storage of reference specimens or living germplasm; 3) Improvement of the characterisation of collection holdings; and 4) Support of the National Identification Services.
  • Fungal and Bacterial Biosystematics - bridging taxonomy and –omics technology in agricultural research and regulation. The objective of this project is to bridge traditional and DNA-based taxonomy leveraging opportunities enabled by new genomic and metabolomics technologies.
  • Carotenoids-producing yeasts and/or bacteria of biotechnological importance. The proposed research will lead to identify carotenoids-producing yeasts and/or bacteria strains for producing natural carotenoids as alternate feed products. Finding uses for agricultural/food-processing by-products adds profitability to low-value waste streams and reduces environmental issues.
  • Monitoring of an invasive bacterial pathogen ( Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis ) of corn using a next-generation sequencing method.
  • Next-generation sequencing - genomics and metagenomics of fungal and bacterial pathogens amenable to quarantine in crop plants.
  • Development of amplicon-based metagenomic identification and analysis tools primarily targeting regulated or high-risk pathogens.

Research and/or project statements

Areas of expertise :

  • Invasive / quarantine bacterial plant pathogens
  • Genomics and Metagenomics of phytobacteria
  • Taxonomy and molecular detection of phytobacterial pathogens
  • Bacterial biodiversity in soil health and agricultural sustainability
  • Beneficial and pathogenic bacteria in cereals and legumes
  • Biopesticides (bioresources)

Education and awards


Ph.D.     Biological Sciences Universiteit Gent, Belgium                                    2000

MSc.       Plant Pathology/Breeding   Alabama A & M University, USA              1994

Ingènieur Agronome    Biotechnology      Université de Dschang, Cameroon   1988


Awards and Recognition

(1) 2015 Algonquin College Award of recognition and appreciation for providing IBioTP students with invaluable Canadian work experience;

(2) 2011 American Society for Microbiology, Outstanding Service as an Online Mentor of the ASM Minority Mentoring Program;

(3)  2010  Recipient of the Agriculture and Agri-Food Research Branch Science Achievement Award for research conducted on DNA array technology for detection and quantification of multiple soilborne pathogens under the supervision of Dr. André Lévesque. 

(4) 1996 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Root and Tuber Research project funded by United States Agency for International Development.

International experience and/or work

1988 - 1996. Research Officer, Institute of Agriculture Research for Development (French acronym IRAD, Cameroon): conducting research on microbial and plant biotechnology to enhance our understanding of bacterial/fungal pathogens of Tropical Roots and Tubercrops under a USAID funded project.

Key publications

  1. Tremblay, É.D., Goulet, B.B., Lord, E., Samson, S., Liu, M., Tambong, J.T., Brunet, B.M.T., Khanal, R., Parent, J.-P., and Chen, W. (2023). Surveillance of crop-associated microbes using high-throughput sequencing of environmental and seed samples. In 12th International Congress Of Plant Pathology (Lyon, France).

    2023 - View publication details

  2. Ellouze, W., Nesbitt, D., Parcey, M., Gayder, S., Marchand, G., Svircev, A.M., Tambong, J.T. (2020). Draft Genome Sequences of Hazelnut-Associated Pseudomonas Strains Isolated in Ontario, Canada, 9(45), http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/MRA.01021-20

    2020 - View publication details

  3. CHI S. I., V. PLANTE, D. CHABOT, M. HADINEZHAD, S. F. PINTO, H. BALASUNDARAM, R. XU AND J. T. TAMBONG (2019). Antifungal activity of strain S1Bt23, a novel subspecies of Pseudomonas chlororaphis, and its colonization of canola and tomato roots visualized using green fluorescent protein (gfp) transformants. 2019 Annual Meeting of the Canadian Phytopathological Society-Eastern Ontario Region. Oral presentation. Boolk of abstracts: OR07.

    2019 - View publication details

  4. Nguyen HDT, Grunwald NJ, Abad ZG, Martin FN, Crouch J, Hambleton S, Dettman J, Liu M, Harris LJ, Castlebury L, Salagado-Salazar C, Cowger C, Ellouz O, Mollov D, Fall ML, Ling K, Griffifths J, Mahaffee W, Chen W, Sultata T, Yu Q, Carta LK, Skantar AM, Tambong J, Rogers E, Li S, Dumonceaux TJ, Widmer TL. The 2019 AAFC-USDA meeting on genotyping and monitoring of high-risk plant pathogens.

    2019 - View publication details

  5. Tambong, J.T. (2019). Taxogenomics and systematics of the genus Pantoea. Frontiers in Microbiology, [online] 10(OCT), http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2019.02463

    2019 - View publication details

  6. Soliman, A., Gulden, R.H., Tambong, J.T., Bajracharya, P., Adam, L.R., Xu, R., Cott, M., Daayf, F. (2018). Developed and validated inoculation and disease assessment methods for Goss's bacterial wilt and leaf blight disease of corn. Crop Protection, [online] 112 159-167. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cropro.2018.05.022

    2018 - View publication details

  7. Li, X., Tambong, J., Yuan, K.X., Chen, W., Xu, H., André Lévesque, C., De Boer, S.H. (2018). Re-classification of clavibacter michiganensis subspecies on the basis of whole-genome and multi-locus sequence analyses. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM), [online] 68(1), 234-240. http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/ijsem.0.002492

    2018 - View publication details

  8. Bromfield, E.S.P., Cloutier, S., Tambong, J.T., Tran Thi, T.V. (2017). Soybeans inoculated with root zone soils of Canadian native legumes harbour diverse and novel Bradyrhizobium spp. that possess agricultural potential. Systematic and Applied Microbiology, [online] 40(7), 440-447. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.syapm.2017.07.007

    2017 - View publication details

  9. Caetanie Tchagang, Renlin Xu , Eden Bromfield and James Tambong. (2017)
    Diversity and phylogeny of bacteria associated with corn roots inoculated with
    woodland soils in Canada, and description of Pseudomonas aylmerense sp. nov.
    14th Symposium on Bacterial Genetics and Ecology, Aberdeen, Scotland, 4-8 June 2017

    2017 - View publication details

  10. James T. Tambong, Renlin Xu and Eden Bromfield (2016) Pseudomonas canadensis sp. nov., a biological control agent isolated from a field plot under long-term mineral fertilization. International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology doi:10.1099/ijsem.0.001698.

    2017 - View publication details

  11. Tambong, J.T. (2017). Comparative genomics of Clavibacter michiganensis subspecies, pathogens of important agricultural crops. PLoS ONE, [online] 12(3), http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0172295

    2017 - View publication details

  12. Shumilak, A., Soliman, A., Adam, L.R., Tambong, J.T., Reid, L.M., and Daayf, F. 2016. Exploring the interaction of susceptible and tolerant in inbred lines of corn (Zea mays L.) to with Clavibacter michiganensis subsp nebraskensis, the causal agent of Goss’s wilt. Manitoba Agronomy Conference, Dec. 15-16, Winnipeg, MB.

    2017 - View publication details

  13. Shumilak, A., Soliman, A., Adam, L.R., Tambong, J.T., Reid, L.M., Daayf, F. 2017. Investigating Defense Genes in Susceptible and Tolerant Inbred lines of Corn (Zea mays L.) during Infection by Clavibacter michiganensis subsp nebraskensis, the causal agent of Goss’s Wilt. 70th Northeast Corn Improvement Conference, Ottawa, ON, Feb 21-22, 2017. Oral presentation.

    2017 - View publication details

  14. Sean Li, James Tambong, Kat (Xiaoli) Yuan, H. Xu and Solke H. De Boer (2016)Re-classification of Clavibacter michiganensis subspecies into multiple new species. Annual Meeting of the Canadian Phytopathological Society Moncton, NB. June 12-15, 2016. Abstract.

    2017 - View publication details

  15. Mohamed, R., Groulx, E., Defilippi, S., Erak, T., Tambong, J.T., Tweddell, R.J., Tsopmo, A., Avis, T.J. (2017). Physiological and molecular characterization of compost bacteria antagonistic to soil-borne plant pathogens. Canadian Journal of Microbiology, [online] 63(5), 411-426. http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjm-2016-0599

    2017 - View publication details

  16. Shumila A., A. Soliman, L. Adam, J. T. Tambong, L. Reid and F. Daayf (2016) Exploring the interaction of susceptible and tolerant Inbred lines of Corn (Zea mays L.) with Clavibacter michiganensis subsp nebraskensis, the causal agent of Goss’s Wilt. 2016 Manitoba Agronomists's conference Winnipeg, December 15-16, 2016.

    2016 - View publication details

  17. Tambong, J.T., Xu, R., Daayf, F., Brière, S., Bilodeau, G.J., Tropiano, R., Hartke, A., Reid, L.M., Cott, M., Cote, T., Agarkova, I. (2016). Genome analysis and development of a multiplex TaqMan real-time PCR for specific identification and detection of clavibacter michiganensis subsp. Nebraskensis. Phytopathology, [online] 106(12), 1473-1485. http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-05-16-0188-R

    2016 - View publication details

  18. Caetanie Tchagang, Renlin Xu and James T. Tambong (2016) Genome sequencing and analysis of two novel Pseudomonas strains, antagonistic to Rhizoctonia solani. Canadian Phytopathological Society-Eastern Ontario Regional Meeting, Ottawa, November 18. Published abstracts.

    2016 - View publication details

  19. Sanni Hsieh, Renlin Xu, Tyler J. Avis and James T. Tambong (2016) Genome analysis and pathogenicity of a new potential biothreat, Pantoea allii, to onion production.2016 Annual Meeting of the Canadian Phytopathological Society Moncton, NB. June 12-15, 2016. Published Abstract.

    2016 - View publication details

  20. James T. Tambong (2016) Goss’s Bacterial Wilt Pathogen: from genome sequencing to a diagnostic application. Invited talk. CFIA Plant Research Seminar Series, March 16, 2016.

    2016 - View publication details

Research facility

960 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6


  • Adjunct professor, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Manitoba, Manitoba, Canada
  • Member, Bacteriology Committee of the American Phytopathological Society (APS)
  • Member, Evolutionary Genetics & Genomics Committee  (APS)
  • Member, Plant Pathogen and Disease Detection Committee (APS)
  • Member, advisory committee of the Specialized Baccalaureate in Biotechnology at La Cité Collégiale, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
  • Associate Editor, Bacteria and Phytoplasmas, Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology
  • Member, American Phytopathological Society (Past Chairman, Tropical Plant Pathology Committee)
  • Member, American Society for Microbiology (recipient of the ASM Online Minority Mentoring Award, 2011)
  • Member, Canadian Phytopathological Society