Ndiaga Cissé

Email: ncisse@refer.sn

Director ISRA/CNRA Bambey,Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research, ISRA

Ndiaga Cissé is a cowpea and sorghum breeder at the Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research (ISRA). He is also an associate scientist at the Regional Center for the Study of Crop Adaptation to Drought (CERAAS) in Senegal, and is involved in different Generation Challenge Program projects on cowpea for the development of molecular markers associated with drought, diseases, insects and Striga resistance.

 Dr. Cissé is a collaborator and technical committee member of the Bean-Cowpea Collaborative Research Support Program (CRSP)-project, coordinated by the University of Michigan, and has chaired the West Africa regional component. Currently he is also involved with the University of California, Riverside, in the tropical legume1 project of the Generation Challenge Program (GCP). He has additionally initiated a breeding program on sorghum. Varieties are being developed for adaptation to drought-prone environments and resistance to the parasitic weed Striga hermonthica, to diseases (long smut, grain mold) and good grain quality.

 Dr. Cissé was trained as an agronomist at the Nicolae Balescu Agronomic Institute in Bucharest, Romania.  He received his M.Sc. in Plant Breeding fro the University of California-Davis, USA, in 1983.  He graduated in 1995 with a Ph.D. from Purdue University, USA, in Genetics and Plant Breeding.

 He joined ISRA as a cowpea breeder and partnered with University of California-Riverside in breeding for adaptation in the semi-arid regions of the Sahel.  This work was conducted in the framework of the Bean Cowpea Collaborative Research Support Project (CRSP), coordinated by Michigan State University and funded by USAID.  From this work, three varieties were released which combined improved yield potential, adaptation to semi-arid conditions (drought, low fertile soils), insect resistance (aphids, thrips, bruchids), disease resistance (mosaic viruses, bacterial blight), resistance to the parasitic weed Striga and grain qualities (size, color, taste and cooking characteristics.  Consequently, Dr. Cissé was awarded the 1999 President Award for Science and Technology.

 He is a long-time technical committee member of the Bean-Cowpea CRSP project and chaired the West Africa regional component.  He was steering committee member of the West and Central Africa Cowpea Network, coordinated by the OAU science organization SAFGRAD and of the Sahel Institute Millet, Sorgum, Corn and Cowpea Project.  

Curriculum Vitae


Name: Dr. Ndiaga Cissé

Country of birth: Senegal

Nationality:  Senegalese

Position Title: Director ISRA/CNRA Bambey

Institution: Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research, ISRA

Contact Address:

Senegalese Institute of Agricultural Research (ISRA ISRA/CNRA BP 53 Bambey, Senegal

Email: ncisse@refer.sn

Tel: +221 76 580 92 37

Fax: -

Specialty Area:

-          Plant Breeding



1979  B.Sc. Agronomic Institute, Bucharest, Romania. Agronomy

1983  M.Sc. University of California, Davis, USA. Plant Breeding

1995  Ph.D. Purdue University, USA. Genetics and Plant Breeding


Positions held (since terminal degree):


1983 to date   Cowpea / Sorghum Breeder, Institute of Agricultural Research (ISRA), Senegal




-          Breeding for grain quality

-          Drought resistance phenotyping & breeding

-          Host-plant resistance & breeding

-          Molecular breeding

-          Seed system



Honors and Awards (since terminal degree):


1999  President of Senegal’s Award for Science and Technology. .


A selection of major research accomplishments: Discoveries and first reports


1)                  Cissé Ndiaga, Ndiaye Mbaye, Sene Assane. 2005. Registration of ‘Yacine’ cowpea. Crop Science 45: 413-414.

2)                  Cissé Ndiaga, Ndiaye Mbaye, Thiaw Samba and Anthony Hall. 1997. Registration of ‘Melakh’ cowpea. Crop Science 37:1978.

3)                  Cissé Ndiaga, Ndiaye Mbaye, Thiaw Samba and Anthony Hall. 1995. Registration of ‘Mouride’ cowpea. Crop Science 35:1215 - 1216.



A Selection of refereed journal publications (2002-present)


Wellington Muchero, Ndeye N. Diop, Prasanna R. Bhat, Raymond D. Fenton, Marti Pottorff, Sarah Hearne, Ndiaga Cisse, Christian Fatokun, Jeffrey D. Ehlers, Philip Roberts and Timothy J. Close. 2009. A consensus genetic map of cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L) Walp.] based on EST-derived SNP markers and six RIL populations, and synteny with reference genomes. PNAS. www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0905886106..


Charles Konan Kouakou, Harold Roy-Macauley, Mame Codou Gueye, Marie Claire Otto, Jean-François Rami, Ndiaga Cissé, et Rémi S Pasquet. 2007. Diversité génétique des variétés traditionnelles de niébé [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp.] au Sénégal : étude préliminaire. Plant Genetic Resources Newsletter 152: 3-44.


Louis Prom, Ndiaga Cisse, Ousmane Ndoye. 2007. Assessing the vulnerability of selected sorghum lines from the United States of America to long smut (Sporisorium ehrenbergii Vanky) disease. Crop Protection 26: 1771–1776.


Cissé Ndiaga, Ndiaye Mbaye, Sene Assane. 2005. Registration of ‘ Yacine ‘ cowpea. Crop Science 45:413-414.


Cissé Ndiaga, G. Ejeta. 2003. Genetic variation and relationship for seedling vigor traits in Sorghum. Crop Science. 43:824-828.


Anthony E. Hall , Ndiaga Cisse, Samba Thiaw, Hassan O. A. Elawad, Jeffrey D. Ehlers, Abdelbagi M. Ismail, Richard L. Fery, Philip A. Roberts, Laurie W. Kitch, Larry L. Murdock, Ousmane Boukar, R. D. Phillips and K. H. McWatters. 2003. Development of cowpea cultivars and germplasm by the bean/cowpea CRSP. Field Crop Research. 82:103-134.



Book chapters:

Hall A.E., Ismail, A.M., Ehlers, J.D., Marfo, K.O., Cisse, N., Thiaw, S., Close, T.J., 2002. Breeding cowpea for tolerance to temperature extremes and adaptation to drought. In Fatokun, C.A., S.A. Tarawalli, B.B. Singh, P.M. Kormawa, and M. Tamo (editors). 2002. Challenges and opportunities for enhancing sustainable cowpea production. Proceedings of the World Cowpea Research Conference III, Ibadan, Nigeria, 4-7 September 2000, IITA, Ibadan, Nigeria, Pages 14 – 21.

Cissé Ndiaga. 2002. La culture du sorgho au Sénégal. In: Jordi Comas et Helena Gomez Macpherson (editors). La culture du sorgho de décrue en Afrique de l’Ouest et du Centre; Situation actuelle et definition d’un plan d’action regional. UPC, Barcelone, Espagne, pages 111-121.

Cissé Ndiaga, Joseph Wey, Dogo Seck, Momar Talla Gueye, Mamadou Gueye. 2004. Les légumineuses à graines. In : Bilan de la Recherche Agricole. Cirad-ISRA.



Invited presentations at major international conferences (2002-present-Maximum 8)


Ndiaga Cisse, Nouhoun Belko, 2009. Enabling Capacities for Drought and Bacterial Blight Resistance Phenotyping, Generation Challenge Program, Annual Research Meeting, 20-24 September, Bamako, M


Ndiaga Cisse, 2008. ISRA-ITA INTSORMIL Program, Recent progress, Intsormil PI workshop, 15-18 April 2008


Ndiaga Cisse, 2008. Sorghum Germplasm, West Africa sorghum breeders meeting. Wabnet Workshop, 21-22 November, Dakar, Senegal.


Ndiaga Cisse, 2007. Millet and Sorghum in Senegal, Regional Sorghum and Millets Workshop: 28-30 November, 2007, Nairobi.


Ndiaga Cisse, 2008. Exploitation de la diversité génétique du niébé et du sorgho pour le développement de variétés adaptées aux zones semi-arides de lAfrique. Miniforum sur Biodiversité et amélioration des plantes en Afrique sub-saharienne. Organisé à Montpellier par AGROPOLIS INTERNATIONAL Du 6 au 7 Octobre 2008.


Research Grants (2004 – present):

Funding source

Grant Title (Principal investigators)

Amount US$


Pulse CRSP

Modern Cowpea Breeding to Overcome Critical Production Constraints in Africa and the US. (Philip A. Roberts, Jeffrey D. Ehlers, Ndiaga Cisse, Issa Drabo)

105,000 ( ISRA only )

April 1, 2008 - September 30, 2010

Generation Challenge Program (GCP) Tropical Legumes I

Improve cowpea productivity for marginal environments in sub-Saharan Africa

195,000( ISRA only)

May 1, 2007¬April 30, 2010

Generation Challenge Program (GCP)

Improving Drought Tolerance Phenotyping in Cowpea (Jeff Ehlers, Satoru Muranaka, Ousmane Boukar, Ndiaga Cisse, Issa Drabo)

64,000 (ISRA only )

May 1, 2008 ¬December 30, 2010

Kirkhouse trust

Strengthening National Capacity for the Development of DNA Markers and the Application of Marker-Assisted Selection (MAS) in Cowpea Breeding for Senegal (Ndiaga Cisse)


January 2009-December 2011


Inventory and Characterisation of West Africa Sorghum Genetic Resources (Ndiaga Cissé)


August 2009 – July 2011



This database is supported with funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation