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USDA Research Agency to Induct Two Scientists into Hall of Fame / September 10, 1998 / News from the USDA Agricultural Research Service

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USDA Research Agency to Induct Two Scientists into Hall of Fame

By Tara Weaver

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10--Innovative methods for controlling major cotton pests have earned two scientists places in the Hall of Fame of the Agricultural Research Service.

ARS is the chief scientific research arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with more than 100 research locations across the country and overseas.

ARS chemist James H. Tumlinson and entomologist Thomas J. Henneberry will be inducted into the Hall of Fame during a Sept. 16 ceremony at the U.S. National Arboretum here.

"The Hall of Fame program, initiated in 1986, honors outstanding scientists like Drs. Tumlinson and Henneberry who have gained national and international reputations for their contributions to agriculture," said ARS Administrator Floyd P. Horn. "Their work has been crucial in drastically reducing the threat of boll weevils and pink bollworms in some of the country's most important cotton-growing regions."

The U.S. cotton crop is worth an estimated $6.5 billion annually.

Tumlinson discovered the composition of the natural chemical signals, known as pheromones, emitted by male boll weevils. This allowed synthesis of artificial pheromones for use in traps. He leads the Insect Chemistry Research Unit at ARS' Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology in Gainesville, Fla.

Henneberry unraveled the reproductive behavior of the pink bollworm and helped develop the use of radiation to sterilize the insects. Based on his work, large-scale releases of sterile insects have been used to reduce bollworm populations to levels that do not pose an economically important threat to the cotton crop. Henneberry heads the ARS Western Cotton Research Laboratory in Phoenix, Ariz.

Horn is scheduled to present each scientist with a plaque citing their achievements. The plaques will go on permanent display along with those for 42 other ARS Hall of Fame inductees at the agency's National Visitor Center in Beltsville, Md. Inductees must be retired or eligible to retire.

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NOTE TO EDITORS: Additional details on accomplishments of each Hall of Fame inductee can be obtained from Tara Weaver, (301) 504-1619, tweaver@asrr.arsusda.gov. Black and white photographs of Tumlinson and Henneberry are available from the ARS Photography Unit, (301) 504-1606, arsphoto@asrr.arsusda.gov.

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