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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

ARS 50th Anniversary Celebration

Logo Image for "A R S : The Future Grows Here"Agricultural Research Service
50th Anniversary

National Scientific Leadership Meeting and
Annual Recognition Program

Proud Past and Promising Future
January 21-23, 2004
New Orleans, Louisiana

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James H. Tumlinson, III


James TumlinsonCurriculum Vitae

Ralph O. Mumma Professor of Entomology, Department of Entomology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 863-1770
FAX: (814) 863-4439



B.S. Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Virginia 1960 Chemistry

M.S. Mississippi State University, State College, Mississippi 1966 Organic Chemistry Entomology minor

Ph.D . Mississippi State University, State College, Mississippi 1969 Organic Chemistry Biochemistry minor


Professional Experience

Chemist, USDA-ARS, Boll Weevil Research Laboratory, State College, MS .

Postdoctoral Position with R. M. Silverstein, New York State College of Forestry, Department of Chemistry, Syracuse, NY .

Research Chemist, USDA-ARS, Insect Attractants, Behavior and Basic Biology Research Laboratory, Gainesville, FL.

Adjunct Assistant Professor; University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agriculture (IFAS), Department of Entomology and Nema­tology, Gainesville, FL.

Adjunct Associate Professor and member of Doctoral Faculty; Univer­sity of Florida, IFAS, De­part­ment of Entomology and Nematology, and Department of Chemistry, Gainesville, FL.

Adjunct Professor and member of Doctoral Faculty; University of Florida, IFAS, De­partment of Entomol­o­gy and Nematol­ogy, and Depart­ment of Chemistry, Gainesville, FL .

Research Leader, USDA, ARS; Center for Medical, Agricultural, and Veterinary Entomology (formerly, Insect Attractants, Behavior and Basic Biology Research Laboratory), Gainesvil­le, FL.

Ralph O. Mumma Professor of Entomology, Department of Entomology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.


Research Interests

As a chemist interested in biological and agricultural systems, I have studied chemicals that affect insect behavior. My laboratory has identified insect pheromones and other semiochemicals, including the boll weevil pheromone, which is a key component of the boll weevil eradication program. We also investigated the biochemical mechanisms by which chemical signals are produced and released by insects, and studied the behavioral responses, including learned responses, of insects to chemical cues.

More recently, we have been investigating the interactions among herbivorous insects, their host plants, and their natural enemies. We found that plants damaged by caterpillar feeding synthesize and release volatile chemicals. Small wasps use these released volatiles as cues to locate and parasitize the caterpillars. The chemical defenses of the plant are induced by a compound, which we identified and named volicitin, in the oral secretion of the caterpillars. We are now investigating the biochemical mechanisms by which volicitin triggers the plant chemical defense, the source of volicitin in the caterpillars, its role in insect metabolism, the structures of similar molecules in other insect species, and the responses of the parasitic wasps to plant volatile chemicals. Emphasis is on developing fundamental knowledge and principles that can be applied in environmentally safe pest management programs.



USDA, ARS Award for "Outstanding research which achieved the isolation, identifi­cation, and confirmation by synthesis of the male boll weevil sex attractant complex."

USDA Superior Service Award (Boll Weevil Pheromone Development Group) "In recognition of the discovery of and for pioneering the develop­ment of the pheromone of the boll weevil as a technique for detection, survey, suppression, or elimination of the pest."

ARS Award "For outstanding research and leadership accomplishments in identifying chemicals mediating the behavior of insects."

USDA Superior Service Award (Insect Chemistry Research Group) "For outstanding service in the isolation, identification, and synthesis of pheromones of a number of major pest insects and providing science and industry with chemicals for insect research and control."

ARS Distinguished Research Scientist of the Year.

Burdick and Jackson International Award for Research in Pesticide Chemistry, presented by Agrochemicals Division of the American Chemical Society.

ARS Fellowship to study at the Center for Insect Science, University of Arizona .

J.E. Bussart Memorial Award from the Entomologi­cal Society of America for research accomplishments in the area of insect semiochemicals and associated behavior.

Florida Entomological Society Annual Research Award (Jointly with W. J. Lewis and T. C. J. Turlings)

LeTourneau Memorial Lecture, University of Idaho .

USDA, The Secretary of Agriculture's Award for Personal and Professional Excellence “For Pioneering Research on Insect Pheromones that Provided the Basis for Control of Major Insect Pests, Including the Boll Weevil, Thereby Reducing Environmental Contamination by Pesticides”.

Elected a Fellow of the Entomological Society of America

Vice President, International Society of Chemical Ecology

Elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

President, International Society of Chemical Ecology

Distinguished Lecturer in Life Sciences, Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY .

Alfred M. Boyce Lecturer, University of California at Riverside .

Inducted into ARS Hall of Fame.

Strickland Lecturer, University of Alberta, Edmonton .

Joseph LeConte Lecturer, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro.

Recognition Award in Insect Physiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology, from the Entomological Society of America, Montreal, Canada .

Kenneth A. Spencer Award for Outstanding Achievement in Agricultural and Food Chemistry

ISI Essential Science Indicators; listed Tumlinson's publications in the top 1% in terms of total citations earned in the field of Environment/Ecology.

Presidential Rank Award as a Meritorious Senior Professional in USDA, ARS.

Jean-Marie Delwart Foundation Prize for chemical communication.


Recent Publications

Turlings, T. C. J., Alborn, H. T., Loughrin, J. H., and Tumlinson, J. H. Volicitin, an elicitor of maize volatiles in the oral secretion of Spodoptera exigua: its isolation and bio-activity. J. Chem. Ecol. 26(1): 189-202. 2000.

Alborn, H. T., Jones, T. H., Stenhagen, G. S., and Tumlinson, J. H. Identification and synthesis of volicitin and related components from beet armyworm oral secretions. J. Chem. Ecol. 26(1): 203-220. 2000.

Tumlinson, J. H., Paré, P. W., Alborn, H. T., and Lewis, W. J. Chemically mediated tritrophic plant-insect interactions. In de Wit, P. J. G. M., Bisseling, T., and Stiekema, W. J. (Eds.) Biology of Plant-Microbe Interactions, Vol. 2. Proc. 9th Intl. Cong. on Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions, pp 378-383. 1999.

De Moraes, C. M., Lewis, W. J., and Tumlinson, J. H. Examining plant-parasitoid interactions in tritrophic systems. An. Soc. Entomol. Brasil 29(2): 189-203. 2000.

Tumlinson, J. H ., Alborn, H. T., Loughrin, J. H., Turlings, T. C. J., and Jones, T. H. Plant Volatile Elicitor from Insects. U. S. Patent # 6,054,483; April 25, 2000; U. S. Patent # 6,207,712 B1; March 27, 2001.

Frey, M., Stettner, C., Paré, P. W., Schmelz, E. A., Tumlinson, J. H., and Gierl, A. An herbivore elicitor activates the gene for indole emission in maize. PNAS 97(26): 14801-14806. 2000.

Mori, N., Alborn, H. T., Teal, P. E. A., and Tumlinson, J. H. Enzymatic decomposition of elicitors of plant volatiles in Heliothis virescens and Helicoverpa zea. J. Ins. Phys. 47: 749-757. 2001.

De Moraes, C. M., Mescher, M. C., and Tumlinson, J. H. Caterpillar-induced nocturnal plant volatiles repel conspecific females. Nature. 410: 577-580. 2001.

Schmelz, E.A., Alborn, H. T., and Tumlinson, J. H. The influence of intact-plant and excised-leaf bioassay designs on voliticitin- and jasmonic acid-induced sesquiterpene volatile release in Zea mays. Planta. 214: 171-179. 2001.

Cardoza, Y. J., Alborn, H. T., and Tumlinson, J. H. In vivo volatile emissions from peanut plants induced by simultaneous fungal infection and insect damage. J. Chem. Ecol. 28(1): 161-174. 2002.

Engelberth, J., Schmelz, E.A., Alborn, H. T., Cardoza, Y. J., Huang, J. and Tumlinson, J. H. Simultaneous quantification of jasmonic acid and salicylic acid in plants by vapor-phase extraction and gas chromatography-chemical ionization-mass spectrometry. Anal. Biochem. 312: 242-250. 2003.

Schmelz, E. A., Alborn, H. T., Banchio, E., and Tumlinson, J. H. Quantitative relationships between induced jasmonic acid levels and volatile emission in Zea mays during Spodoptera exigua herbivory. Planta. 216:665-673. 2003.

Schmelz, E. A., Alborn, H. T., and Tumlinson, J. H. Synergistic interactions between volicitin, jasmonic acid and ethylene mediate insect-induced volatile emission in Zea mays. Physiologia Plantarum. 117:403-412. 2003.

Cardoza, Y. J., Lait, C. G., Schmelz, E. A., Huang, J., and Tumlinson, J. H. Fungus-induced biochemical changes in peanut plants and their effect on development of beet armyworm, Spodoptera exigua Hubner (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) larvae. Environ. Entomol. 32: 220-228, 2003.

Suazo, A., Torto, B., Teal, P.E.A. and Tumlinson, J. H. Response of the small hive beetle (Aethina tumida Murray ) to honey bee (Aphis Mellifera L.) - and beehive-produced volatiles. Apidologie. 34: xxx-yyy. 2003.

Aldrich, J. R., Bartelt, R. J., Dickens, J. C., Knight, A. L., Light, D. M., and Tumlinson, J. H. Insect Chemical Ecology. Pest Management Science. 59:777-787. 2003.

Alborn, H.T., Brennan, M.M. and Tumlinson, J.H. Differential activity and degradation of plant volatile elicitors present in the regurgitant of tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta) larvae. Journal of Chemical Ecology. 29: 1357-1372. 2003.

Huang, J., Cardoza, Y.J., Schmelz, E.A., Raina, R., Engelberth, J.E. and Tumlinson, J.H. Differential volatile emissions and salicylic acid levels from tobacco plants in response to different strains of pseudomonas syringae. Planta.  217: 767-775. 2003.

Lait, C.G., Alborn, H.T, Teal, P.E.A., and Tumlinson, J.H. Rapid biosynthesis of N-linolenoyl-L-glutamine, an elicitor of plant volatiles, by membrane associated enzyme(s) in Manduca sexta. PNAS. 100: 7027-7032. 2003.

Schmelz, E.A., Alborn, H.T. and Tumlinson, J.H. Nitrogen deficiency increases volicitin-induced volatile emission by altering ethylene sensitivity and the kinetics of JA accumulation in Zea mays. Plant Physiology. 133: 295-306. 2003

Cardoza, Y.J., Teal, P.E.A. and Tumlinson, J.H. Effect of peanut fungal infection on oviposition preference by Spodoptera exigua and on host searching behavior by Cotesia marginiventris. Environmental Entomology. In Press. 2003.

Schmelz, E. A., Engelberth, J., Alborn, H. T., O'Donnell, P., Sammons, M., Toshima, H. and Tumlinson, J. H. Simultaneous analysis of phytohormones, phytotoxins, and volatile organic compounds in plants. PNAS, 100: 10552-10557. 2003.

Engelberth, J., Alborn, H. T., Schmelz, E. A., and Tumlinson J. H. Airborne signals prime plants against insect herbivore attack. PNAS. In Press. 2003.


Last Modified: 5/18/2016
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