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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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, 40(7), 440-447. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.syapm.2017.07.007

    2017 - View publication details

  4. 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, 106(12), 1473-1485. http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PHYTO-05-16-0188-R

    2016 - View publication details

  5. Whiteduck-Léveillée, K., Whiteduck-Léveillée, J., Cloutier, M., Tambong, J.T., Xu, R., Topp, E., Arts, M.T., Chao, J., Adam, Z., Lévesque, C.A., Lapen, D.R., Villemur, R., Khan, I.U.H. (2016). Identification, characterization and description of Arcobacter faecis sp. nov., isolated from a human waste septic tank, 39(2), 93-99. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.syapm.2015.12.002

    2016 - View publication details

  6. Xu, R., Falardeau, J., Avis, T.J., Tambong, J.T. (2016). HybProbes-based real-time PCR assay for specific identification of Streptomyces scabies and Streptomyces europaeiscabiei, the potato common scab pathogens, 62(2), 153-159. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/lam.12522

    2016 - View publication details

  7. Tchagang, C.F., Xu, R., Mehrtash, S., Rahimi, S., Sidibé, A., Li, X., Bromfield, E.S.P., Tambong, J.T. (2016). Draft genome sequences of two novel Pseudomonas strains exhibiting differential hypersensitivity reactions on tobacco and corn seedlings, 4(5), http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/genomeA.01057-16

    2016 - View publication details

  8. Tambong, J.T. (2015). Specific identification and detection of Pantoea stewartii subsp. stewartii using a membrane-based multi-gene oligonucleotide array, 37(4), 414-426. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07060661.2015.1113442

    2015 - View publication details

  9. Whiteduck-Léveillée, K., Whiteduck-Léveillée, J., Cloutier, M., Tambong, J.T., Xu, R., Topp, E., Arts, M.T., Chao, J., Adam, Z., Lévesque, C.A., Lapen, D.R., Villemur, R., Talbot, G., Khan, I.U.H. (2015). Arcobacter lanthieri sp. Nov., isolated from pig and dairy cattle manure, 65(8), 2709-2716. http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/ijs.0.000318

    2015 - View publication details

  10. Nejjari, M., Xu, R., Tambong, J.T. (2015). Detection, identification and differentiation of corn pathogen pantoea stewartii subspecies by membrane-based multi-gene oligonucleotide array, 77(24), 123-129. http://dx.doi.org/10.11113/jt.v77.6719

    2015 - View publication details

  11. Tambong, J.T., Xu, R., Adam, Z., Cott, M., Rose, K., Reid, L.M., Daayf, F., Brière, S., Bilodeau, G.J. (2015). Draft genome sequence of Clavibacter michiganensis subsp. nebraskensis strain DOAB 397, isolated from an infected field corn plant in Manitoba, Canada, 3(4), http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/genomeA.00768-15

    2015 - View publication details

  12. Adam, Z., Whiteduck-Léveillée, K., Cloutier, M., Chen, W., Lewis, C.T., Lévesque, C.A., Topp, E., Lapen, D.R., Tambong, J.T., Talbot, G., Khan, I.U.H. (2014). Draft genome sequences of two Arcobacter strains isolated from human feces, 2(2), http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/genomeA.00113-14

    2014 - View publication details

  13. Adam, Z., Whiteduck-Leveillee, K., Cloutier, M., Tambong, J.T., Chen, W., Lewis, C.T., Lévesque, C.A., Topp, E., Lapen, D.R., Talbot, G., Khan, I.U.H. (2014). Draft genome sequences of three Arcobacter strains of pig and dairy cattle manure origin, 2(3), http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/genomeA.00377-14

    2014 - View publication details

  14. Tambong, J.T., Xu, R. (2013). Culture-independent analysis of Pseudomonas community structures in fertilized and unfertilized agricultural soils, 63(1), 323-333. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13213-012-0477-9

    2013 - View publication details

  15. Tambong, J.T. (2013). Phylogeny of bacteria isolated from rhabditis sp. (Nematoda) and identification of novel entomopathogenic serratia marcescens strains, 66(2), 138-144. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00284-012-0250-0

    2013 - View publication details

  16. Chen, Q., Qi, P., Xu, R., Tambong, J.T., Djama, Z.R., Li, W. (2011). Comparison of three typing methods for evaluating the diversity of pseudomonas fluorescens in the rhizosphere, 6(2), 52-65. http://dx.doi.org/10.3923/jps.2011.52.65

    2011 - View publication details

  17. Xu, R., Tambong, J.T. (2011). A TaqMan real-time PCR assay targeting the cytochrome o ubiquinol oxidase subunit II gene for detection of several pathovars of Pseudomonas syringae, 33(3), 318-331. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07060661.2011.600335

    2011 - View publication details

  18. Gómez-Alpízar, L., Saalau, E., Picado, I., Tambong, J.T., Saborío, F. (2011). A PCR-RFLP assay for identification and detection of Pythium myriotylum, causal agent of the cocoyam root rot disease, 52(3), 185-192. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1472-765X.2010.02998.x

    2011 - View publication details

  19. Zhang, J.X., Xue, A.G., Zhang, H.J., Nagasawa, A.E., Tambong, J.T. (2010). Response of soybean cultivars to root rot caused by Fusarium species, 90(5), 767-776. http://dx.doi.org/10.4141/CJPS09133

    2010 - View publication details

  20. Zhang, J.X., Xue, A.G., Tambong, J.T. (2009). Evaluation of seed and soil treatments with novel Bacillus subtilis strains for control of soybean root rot caused by Fusarium oxysporum and F. graminearum, 93(12), 1317-1323. http://dx.doi.org/10.1094/PDIS-93-12-1317

    2009 - 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