Boubacar A. Kountche

Research Scientist

Research Scientist



Research Interest

Mapping QTLs/genes for resistance to biotic constraints in pearl millet (mainly Striga);
Development and Application of modern breeding tools to population improvement and genetic diversification in applied pearl millet breeding program;
Marker-assisted selection for development, maintenance and step-wise improvement of elite cultivars and new hybrid parental lines in pearl millet;
Development of new alternative strategies for controlling Striga 

Selected Publications

  • Kountche, B. A., Jamil, M., Yonli, D., Philippe, N. M., Blanco-Ania, D, Asami, T., Zwanenburg, B., & Al-Babili, S (2019). Suicidal germination as a control strategy for Striga hermonthica (Benth.) in smallholder farms of sub-Saharan Africa. Plants, People, Planet (Accepted).
  • Jamil, M., Kountche, B. A., Haider, I., Wang, J. Y., Aldossary, F., Zarban, R. A., … & Al-Babili, S. (2019). Methylation at the C-3’ in D-ring of Strigolactone Analogs Reduces their Biological Activity. Frontiers in Plant Science (Accepted).
  • Wang, J. Y., Haider, I., Jamil, M., Fiorilli, V., Saito, Y., Mi, J., Baz, L., Kountche, B. A., … & Al-Babili, S. (2019). The Apocarotenoid Metabolite Zaxinone Regulates Growth and Strigolactone Biosynthesis in Rice. Nat. Commun. 10
  • Kountche, B. A., Novero, M., Jamil, M., Asami, T., Bonfante, P., & Al-Babili, S. (2018). Effect of the strigolactone analogs methyl phenlactonoates on spore germination and root colonization of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Heliyon, 4 (11), e00936.
  • Baz, L., Mori, N., Mi, J., Jamil, M., Kountche, B. A., Guo, X., ... & Al-Babili, S. (2018). 3-Hydroxycarlactone, a Novel Product of the Strigolactone Biosynthesis Core Pathway. Molecular Plant, 11(10), 1312-1314.
  • Hameed, U. S., Haider, I., Jamil, M., Kountche, B. A., Guo, X., Zarban, R. A., ... & Arold, S. T. (2018). Structural basis for specific inhibition of the highly sensitive ShHTL7 receptor. EMBO reports, 19(9), e45619.


  • Ph.D. , Genetics & Plant breeding, Montpellier SupAgro (Montpellier, France), 2013
  • M.Sc., Genetics & Plant Breeding, Montpellier SupAgro (Montpellier, France), 2009
  • B.Sc., Agronomy & Crop Production, Université Abdou Moumouni (Niamey, Niger), 2006 

Professional Profile

  • 2019-to date: Research Scientist, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia
  • 2014-2019: Postdoctoral fellow, KAUST, Thuwal, Saudi Arabia 

KAUST Affiliations

Prof. Salim Al-Babili's Group 

CDA - Center for Desert Agriculture

BESE - Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division

Research Interests Keywords

Genetics, Plant Breeding