My research utilizes genomics approaches to enhance forest tree genetics and ultimately prepare our forests and tree species for current and future challenges presented by an ever-changing climate. Specifically, I am an expert in deciphering forest tree-insect/pathogen interactions from the ecological to functional genomic level. I work towards the development of novel pest management strategies against devastating forest pests through the application and integration of forest health genomics. Forest pest interactions with trees are relatively unexplored at the level of molecular mechanism. Some forest trees possess natural resistance to pests which include chemical and physical defense systems working together to enable tree survival. These mechanisms and defense systems are controlled and regulated by specific genes and gene families that contribute to the ultimate phenotypic expression of resilience traits. Once important genes/genomic regions are identified, I use functional and quantitative genomics approaches to develop pest management strategies to improve ecological and economic gains for the forestry industry and associated stakeholders.

Works (24)

Updated: January 28th, 2024 05:10

2023 article

A phoenix glimmers within the ashes: generalized defensive traits suggest hope for plants under attack by invasive pests

Johnson, T. D., & Whitehill, J. G. A. (2023, August 26). NEW PHYTOLOGIST, Vol. 8.

By: T. Johnson* & J. Whitehill n

co-author countries: United States of America 🇺🇸
author keywords: ash dieback; cross-resistance; emerald ash borer; Fraxinus; plant defense strategies; plant-pathogen interaction
Sources: Web Of Science, ORCID
Added: September 25, 2023

2023 article

Transcriptome features of stone cell development in weevil-resistant and susceptible Sitka spruce

Whitehill, J. G. A., Yuen, M. M. S., Chiang, A., Ritland, C. E., & Bohlmann, J. (2023, July 4). NEW PHYTOLOGIST, Vol. 7.

By: J. Whitehill n, M. Yuen*, A. Chiang n, C. Ritland* & J. Bohlmann*

co-author countries: Canada 🇨🇦 United States of America 🇺🇸
author keywords: conifer; laser-capture microdissection; lignin; plant-insect interaction; plant resistance; secondary cell wall; spruce; weevil
Sources: Web Of Science, ORCID
Added: August 7, 2023

2022 journal article

Spruce giga‐genomes: structurally similar yet distinctive with differentially expanding gene families and rapidly evolving genes

The Plant Journal.

By: K. Gagalova*, R. Warren*, L. Coombe*, J. Wong*, K. Nip*, M. Yuen*, J. Whitehill*, J. Celedon* ...

co-author countries: Canada 🇨🇦 United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland 🇬🇧
author keywords: conifers; divergent adaptive evolution; genetic map; genome sequence; non-synonymous SNPs; phylogeny; Picea species; positive selection; super-scaffolds
MeSH headings : Expressed Sequence Tags; Genome, Plant / genetics; Multigene Family / genetics; Phylogeny; Picea / genetics; Tracheophyta / genetics
Source: ORCID
Added: July 17, 2022

2022 article

The genome of the forest insect pest Pissodes strobi reveals genome expansion and evidence of a Wolbachia endosymbiont

Gagalova, K. K., Whitehill, J. G. A., Culibrk, L., Lin, D., Levesque-Tremblay, V., Keeling, C. I., … Jones, S. J. M. (2022, February 16). (S. Smith, Ed.). G3-GENES GENOMES GENETICS, Vol. 12.

By: K. Gagalova*, J. Whitehill n, L. Culibrk*, D. Lin*, V. Levesque-Tremblay*, C. Keeling*, L. Coombe*, M. Yuen* ...

co-author countries: Canada 🇨🇦 United States of America 🇺🇸

Ed(s): S. Smith

author keywords: Curculionidae; Pissodes strobi; spruce weevil; forest pest; genome size; transposable elements; Wolbachia; endosymbiont
MeSH headings : Animals; Forests; Insecta; Picea / genetics; Weevils / genetics; Wolbachia / genetics
Sources: ORCID, Web Of Science
Added: February 17, 2022

2021 journal article

Constitutive and insect‐induced transcriptomes of weevil‐resistant and susceptible Sitka spruce

Plant-Environment Interactions.

By: J. Whitehill n, M. Yuen* & J. Bohlmann*

co-author countries: Canada 🇨🇦 United States of America 🇺🇸
Source: ORCID
Added: June 10, 2021

2020 journal article

Gymnosperm glandular trichomes: expanded dimensions of the conifer terpenoid defense system

Scientific Reports, 10(1).

co-author countries: Canada 🇨🇦

Contributors: J. Celedon*, J. Whitehill*, L. Madilao* & J. Bohlmann*

MeSH headings : Animals; Cycadopsida / anatomy & histology; Cycadopsida / chemistry; Cycadopsida / growth & development; Cycadopsida / immunology; Insecta / physiology; Terpenes / chemistry; Terpenes / immunology; Tracheophyta / anatomy & histology; Tracheophyta / chemistry; Tracheophyta / growth & development; Tracheophyta / immunology; Trichomes / anatomy & histology; Trichomes / chemistry; Trichomes / growth & development; Trichomes / immunology
Source: ORCID
Added: August 29, 2020

2019 journal article

A molecular and genomic reference system for conifer defence against insects

Plant Cell and Environment, 42(10), 2844–2859.

By: J. Whitehill* & J. Bohlmann*

co-author countries: Canada 🇨🇦

Contributors: J. Whitehill* & J. Bohlmann*

author keywords: adaptation; bark beetle; chemical defence and physical defence; forest health; Pissodes strobi; plant insect interaction; plant resistance; stone cells (sclereids); terpene oleoresin; white pine weevil or spruce weevil
MeSH headings : Animals; Cytochrome P-450 Enzyme System; Genomics; Host-Parasite Interactions / immunology; Insecta; Microbiota; Oviposition; Phenotype; Pinus; Plant Diseases / immunology; Plant Diseases / parasitology; Proteome; Terpenes / pharmacology; Tracheophyta / immunology; Transcriptome; Weevils
Source: ORCID
Added: August 24, 2020

2019 journal article

Functions of stone cells and oleoresin terpenes in the conifer defense syndrome

New Phytologist, 221(3), 1503–1517.

By: J. Whitehill*, M. Yuen*, H. Henderson*, L. Madilao*, K. Kshatriya*, J. Bryan*, B. Jaquish*, J. Bohlmann*

co-author countries: Canada 🇨🇦

Contributors: J. Whitehill*, M. Yuen*, H. Henderson*, L. Madilao*, K. Kshatriya*, J. Bryan*, B. Jaquish*, J. Bohlmann*

author keywords: bark beetles; forest health; Picea sitchensis; Pissodes strobi; plant resistance; plant-insect interaction; sclereid; terpenoid
MeSH headings : Animals; Feeding Behavior; Gastrointestinal Tract / physiology; Gene Expression Regulation, Plant; Larva / physiology; Oviposition; Plant Extracts / metabolism; Terpenes / metabolism; Tracheophyta / cytology; Tracheophyta / genetics; Tracheophyta / metabolism; Transcriptome / genetics; Trees / genetics; Trees / physiology; Weevils / physiology
Source: ORCID
Added: August 24, 2020

2018 journal article

Histology of resin vesicles and oleoresin terpene composition of conifer seeds

Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 48(9), 1073–1084.

By: K. Kshatriya*, J. Whitehill*, L. Madilao*, H. Henderson*, A. Kermode*, D. Kolotelo*, J. Bohlmann*

co-author countries: Canada 🇨🇦

Contributors: K. Kshatriya*, J. Whitehill*, L. Madilao*, H. Henderson*, A. Kermode*, D. Kolotelo*, J. Bohlmann*

author keywords: monoterpene; diterpene; oleoresin; conifer; seed coat
Source: ORCID
Added: August 24, 2020

2016 journal article

Function of Sitka spruce stone cells as a physical defence against white pine weevil.

Plant, Cell & Environment, 11(11), 2545–2556.

By: J. Whitehill*, H. Henderson*, W. Strong*, B. Jaquish* & J. Bohlmann*

co-author countries: Canada 🇨🇦

Contributors: J. Whitehill*, H. Henderson*, W. Strong*, B. Jaquish* & J. Bohlmann*

author keywords: conifer defence; plant insect interaction; plant resistance; sclereid
MeSH headings : Animals; Feeding Behavior; Host-Pathogen Interactions; Larva / growth & development; Larva / physiology; Picea / cytology; Picea / physiology; Stress, Physiological; Weevils / physiology
Source: ORCID
Added: August 24, 2020

2016 journal article

Histology and cell wall biochemistry of stone cells in the physical defence of conifers against insects

Plant Cell and Environment, 39(8), 1646–1661.

By: J. Whitehill*, H. Henderson*, M. Schuetz*, O. Skyba*, M. Yuen*, J. King*, A. Samuels*, S. Mansfield*, J. Bohlmann*

co-author countries: Canada 🇨🇦

Contributors: J. Whitehill*, H. Henderson*, M. Schuetz*, O. Skyba*, M. Yuen*, J. King*, A. Samuels*, S. Mansfield*, J. Bohlmann*

author keywords: bark beetle; plant insect interaction; plant resistance; secondary cell wall; spruce; lignin; fluorescent-tagged coniferyl alcohol
MeSH headings : Animals; Carbohydrate Metabolism; Cell Wall / metabolism; Genotype; Herbivory; Lignin / biosynthesis; Phenotype; Picea / genetics; Picea / metabolism; Picea / ultrastructure; Weevils
Source: ORCID
Added: August 24, 2020

2016 journal article

Progress and gaps in understanding mechanisms of ash tree resistance to emerald ash borer, a model for wood-boring insects that kill angiosperms

New Phytologist, 209(1), 63–79.

By: C. Villari*, D. Herms*, J. Whitehill*, D. Cipollini* & P. Bonello*

co-author countries: Canada 🇨🇦 United States of America 🇺🇸

Contributors: C. Villari*, D. Herms*, J. Whitehill*, D. Cipollini* & P. Bonello*

author keywords: Agrilus planipennis; constitutive defense; emerald ash borer; Fraxinus; host defense mechanisms; induced defense; plant-insect interactions; wood-borers
MeSH headings : Acetates / pharmacology; Animals; Anti-Infective Agents / metabolism; Antibiosis; Coleoptera / physiology; Cyclopentanes / pharmacology; Fraxinus / immunology; Fraxinus / parasitology; Glucosides / metabolism; Larva; Lignin / metabolism; Magnoliopsida / immunology; Magnoliopsida / parasitology; Models, Biological; Oviposition; Oxylipins / pharmacology; Phenols / metabolism; Plant Growth Regulators / pharmacology; Species Specificity; Trypsin Inhibitors / metabolism; Wood
Source: ORCID
Added: August 24, 2020

2014 journal article

Decreased emergence of emerald ash borer from ash treated with methyl jasmonate is associated with induction of general defense traits and the toxic phenolic compound verbascoside.

Oecologia, 12(4), 1047–1059.

By: J. Whitehill*, C. Rigsby*, D. Cipollini*, D. Herms* & P. Bonello*

co-author countries: Canada 🇨🇦 United States of America 🇺🇸

Contributors: J. Whitehill*, C. Rigsby*, D. Cipollini*, D. Herms* & P. Bonello*

author keywords: Agrilus planipennis; Biological invasions; Fraxinus; Induced resistance; Plant-herbivore interactions
MeSH headings : Acetates / pharmacology; Adaptation, Physiological; Animals; Coleoptera / drug effects; Coleoptera / growth & development; Cyclopentanes / pharmacology; Disease Resistance / drug effects; Fraxinus / drug effects; Fraxinus / metabolism; Fraxinus / physiology; Glucosides / metabolism; Glucosides / pharmacology; Insecticides / pharmacology; Larva / drug effects; Larva / growth & development; Lignin / metabolism; Lignin / pharmacology; North America; Oxylipins / pharmacology; Phenols / metabolism; Phenols / pharmacology; Plant Growth Regulators / pharmacology; Species Specificity; Trypsin Inhibitors / metabolism; Trypsin Inhibitors / pharmacology
Source: ORCID
Added: August 24, 2020

2014 journal article

Effects of water availability on emerald ash borer larval performance and phloem phenolics of Manchurian and black ash

Plant, Cell and Environment, 37(4), 1009–1021.

By: S. Chakraborty*, J. Whitehill*, A. Hill*, S. Opiyo*, D. Cipollini*, D. Herms*, P. Bonello*

co-author countries: United States of America 🇺🇸

Contributors: S. Chakraborty*, J. Whitehill*, A. Hill*, S. Opiyo*, D. Cipollini*, D. Herms*, P. Bonello*

author keywords: pinoresinol; drought stress; Agrilus planipennis; secondary metabolites; quantitation; induced resistance; Fraxinus spp.; phenolics
MeSH headings : Analysis of Variance; Animals; Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid; Chromatography, Liquid; Coleoptera / physiology; Fraxinus / parasitology; Fraxinus / physiology; Furans / metabolism; Larva / physiology; Lignans / metabolism; Linear Models; Mass Spectrometry; Multivariate Analysis; Phenols / metabolism; Phloem / metabolism; Plant Leaves / physiology; Principal Component Analysis; Statistics, Nonparametric; Water / physiology
Source: ORCID
Added: August 24, 2020

2014 journal article

Reserves Accumulated in Non-Photosynthetic Organs during the Previous Growing Season Drive Plant Defenses and Growth in Aspen in the Subsequent Growing Season

Journal of Chemical Ecology, 40(1), 21–30.

By: A. Najar*, S. Landhäusser*, J. Whitehill*, P. Bonello* & N. Erbilgin*

co-author countries: Canada 🇨🇦 United States of America 🇺🇸
author keywords: Aspen; Constitutive and induced defenses; Non-structural carbohydrates; Nitrogen; Phenolic glycosides
MeSH headings : Carbohydrate Metabolism; Herbivory / drug effects; Nitrogen / metabolism; Phenol / metabolism; Photosynthesis; Plant Leaves / metabolism; Plant Leaves / physiology; Populus / growth & development; Populus / metabolism; Populus / physiology; Seasons
Source: ORCID
Added: August 24, 2020

2013 journal article

The Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato type III effector HopM1 suppresses Arabidopsis defenses independent of suppressing salicylic acid signaling and of targeting AtMIN7.

PloS One, 8(12).

By: A. Gangadharan*, M. Sreerekha*, J. Whitehill*, J. Ham* & D. Mackey*

co-author countries: United States of America 🇺🇸

Contributors: A. Gangadharan*, M. Sreerekha*, J. Whitehill*, J. Ham* & D. Mackey*

MeSH headings : Arabidopsis / genetics; Arabidopsis / immunology; Arabidopsis / microbiology; Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics; Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism; Bacterial Proteins / metabolism; Bacterial Secretion Systems; Basic-Leucine Zipper Transcription Factors / metabolism; Gene Expression Regulation, Plant; Guanine Nucleotide Exchange Factors; Plant Diseases / immunology; Plant Diseases / microbiology; Pseudomonas syringae / pathogenicity; Pseudomonas syringae / physiology; RNA, Messenger / genetics; RNA, Messenger / metabolism; Salicylic Acid / metabolism; Signal Transduction / genetics; Transcription Factors / genetics; Transcription Factors / metabolism; Virulence / genetics
Source: ORCID
Added: August 24, 2020

2012 journal article

Interspecific comparison of constitutive ash phloem phenolic chemistry reveals compounds unique to manchurian ash, a species resistant to emerald ash borer.

Journal of Chemical Ecology, 5(5), 499–511.

By: J. Whitehill*, S. Opiyo*, J. Koch*, D. Herms*, D. Cipollini* & P. Bonello*

co-author countries: Canada 🇨🇦 United States of America 🇺🇸

Contributors: J. Whitehill*, S. Opiyo*, J. Koch*, D. Herms*, D. Cipollini* & P. Bonello*

author keywords: Agrilus planipennis; Fraxinus; Wood-borer; HPLC; Host plant resistance; Plant-insect interactions; Invasive species; Emerald ash borer; Coleoptera; Buprestidae
MeSH headings : Animals; Coleoptera / physiology; Fraxinus / chemistry; Fraxinus / physiology; Lignin / chemistry; Lignin / isolation & purification; Lignin / metabolism; Phenols / chemistry; Phenols / isolation & purification; Phenols / metabolism; Phloem / chemistry; Phloem / metabolism; Seasons; Species Specificity
Source: ORCID
Added: August 24, 2020

2012 journal article

Nutritional attributes of ash (Fraxinus spp.) outer bark and phloem and their relationships to resistance against the emerald ash borer.

Tree Physiology, 12(12), 1522–1532.

By: A. Hill, J. Whitehill*, S. Opiyo, P. Phelan & P. Bonello

Contributors: A. Hill, J. Whitehill, S. Opiyo, P. Phelan & P. Bonello

author keywords: Agrilus planipennis; EAB; emerald ash borer; Fraxinus americana; Fraxinus mandshurica; Fraxinus nigra; Fraxinus pennsylvanica; GC-MS; insect nutrition; plant-insect interactions; plant resistance; primary metabolism
MeSH headings : Animals; Coleoptera / physiology; Feeding Behavior; Food Chain; Fraxinus / chemistry; Fraxinus / metabolism; Multivariate Analysis; Phloem / chemistry; Phloem / metabolism; Plant Bark / chemistry; Plant Bark / metabolism; Principal Component Analysis; Species Specificity
Source: ORCID
Added: August 24, 2020

2012 journal article

The U-Box/ARM E3 ligase PUB13 regulates cell death, defense, and flowering time in Arabidopsis.

Plant Physiology, 5(1), 239–250.

co-author countries: China 🇨🇳 United States of America 🇺🇸
MeSH headings : Arabidopsis / enzymology; Arabidopsis / genetics; Arabidopsis / microbiology; Arabidopsis / physiology; Arabidopsis Proteins / genetics; Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism; Botrytis / immunology; Botrytis / pathogenicity; Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / genetics; Carboxylic Ester Hydrolases / metabolism; Cell Death; Cloning, Molecular; Enzyme Activation; Enzyme Assays; Flowers / metabolism; Flowers / physiology; Gene Expression Regulation, Plant; Genes, Plant; Humidity; Hydrogen Peroxide / metabolism; MADS Domain Proteins / genetics; MADS Domain Proteins / metabolism; Plant Diseases / immunology; Plant Diseases / microbiology; Plant Immunity; Plants, Genetically Modified / enzymology; Plants, Genetically Modified / genetics; Plants, Genetically Modified / microbiology; Plants, Genetically Modified / physiology; Protein Structure, Tertiary; Pseudomonas / pathogenicity; Salicylates / metabolism; Time Factors; Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / genetics; Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases / metabolism; Ubiquitination
Source: ORCID
Added: August 24, 2020

2011 journal article

Differential response in foliar chemistry of three ash species to emerald ash borer adult feeding

Journal of Chemical Ecology, 37(1), 29–39.

By: Y. Chen*, J. Whitehill*, P. Bonello* & T. Poland*

co-author countries: United States of America 🇺🇸

Contributors: Y. Chen*, J. Whitehill*, P. Bonello* & T. Poland*

author keywords: Agrilus planipennis; Fraxinus; Plant defense; Phenolics; Volatile organic compounds; VOCs; Coleoptera; Buprestidae
MeSH headings : Animals; Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid; Coleoptera / physiology; Feeding Behavior; Female; Fraxinus / chemistry; Fraxinus / parasitology; Plant Leaves / chemistry; Plant Leaves / parasitology; Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization; Spectrophotometry, Ultraviolet; Volatile Organic Compounds / analysis
Source: ORCID
Added: August 24, 2020

2011 journal article

Distinguishing defensive characteristics in the phloem of ash species resistant and susceptible to emerald ash borer.

Journal of Chemical Ecology, 5(5), 450–459.

By: D. Cipollini*, Q. Wang*, J. Whitehill*, J. Powell*, P. Bonello* & D. Herms*

co-author countries: Germany 🇩🇪 United States of America 🇺🇸

Contributors: D. Cipollini*, Q. Wang*, J. Whitehill*, J. Powell*, P. Bonello* & D. Herms*

Source: ORCID
Added: August 24, 2020

2011 journal article

Feeding by emerald ash borer larvae induces systemic changes in black ash foliar chemistry

Phytochemistry, 72(16), 1990–1998.

co-author countries: United States of America 🇺🇸

Contributors: Y. Chen*, J. Whitehill*, P. Bonello* & T. Poland*

author keywords: Agrilus planipennis; Fraxinus nigra; Oleaceae; Nutrition; Phenolics; Foliage volatiles; Amino acids; Coleoptera; Plant-arthropod interactions
MeSH headings : Amino Acids / metabolism; Animals; Carbohydrate Metabolism; Coleoptera / physiology; Feeding Behavior; Fraxinus / chemistry; Fraxinus / metabolism; Fraxinus / physiology; Phenols / metabolism; Plant Leaves / chemistry; Plant Proteins / metabolism; Volatile Organic Compounds / chemistry; Volatile Organic Compounds / metabolism
Sources: ORCID, Web Of Science
Added: August 24, 2020

2011 journal article

Interspecific proteomic comparisons reveal ash phloem genes potentially involved in constitutive resistance to the emerald ash borer.

PloS One, 6(9).

By: J. Whitehill*, A. Popova-Butler*, K. Green-Church*, J. Koch*, D. Herms* & P. Bonello*

co-author countries: United States of America 🇺🇸

Contributors: J. Whitehill*, A. Popova-Butler*, K. Green-Church*, J. Koch*, D. Herms* & P. Bonello*

MeSH headings : Animals; Coleoptera / physiology; Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional; Fraxinus / genetics; Fraxinus / parasitology; Genes, Plant / genetics; Molecular Sequence Annotation; Phloem / genetics; Phylogeny; Plant Proteins / classification; Plant Proteins / genetics; Plant Proteins / metabolism; Principal Component Analysis; Proteomics / methods; Species Specificity; Trypsin / metabolism
Source: ORCID
Added: August 24, 2020

2007 journal article

Ips pini (Curculionidae: Scolytinae) is a vector of the fungal pathogen, Sphaeropsis sapinea (Coelomycetes), to Austrian Pines, Pinus nigra (Pinaceae)

Environmental Entomology, 36(1), 114–120.

By: J. Whitehill*, J. Lehman* & P. Bonello*

co-author countries: United States of America 🇺🇸

Contributors: J. Whitehill*, J. Lehman* & P. Bonello*

author keywords: short-and long-range dispersal; phoresy rates; pine engraver beetle; Diplodia tip blight; canker
Source: ORCID
Added: August 24, 2020

Employment

Updated: August 26th, 2020 00:33

2020 - present

North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC, US
Assistant Professor, Christmas Tree Genetics Program Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources

2019 - 2020

British Columbia Ministry of Forests Victoria, British Columbia, CA
Coastal Forest Health Research Scientist Forest Genetics - Forest Improvement and Research Management Branch

2016 - 2020

University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC, CA
Research Associate Michael Smith Laboratories

2011 - 2016

University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC, CA
Post-Doctoral Fellow Michael Smith Laboratories

Education

Updated: August 24th, 2020 11:36

2006 - 2011

Ohio State University Columbus, OH, US
Ph.D., Specialization in Biotechnology and Molecular Biology Plant Pathology

2001 - 2006

Otterbein University Westerville, OH, US
General Music with an emphasis on Piano Performance Music

2001 - 2006

Otterbein University Westerville, OH, US
Life Science emphasis on Plant Science, Ecology and Molecular Biology Biology

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