Bourlaye Fofana, Ph.D.

Image Bourlaye Fofana
Research Scientist

Plant Molecular Physiology and Genomics

Current research and/or projects

Current Projects

1. 2019-2023  J-002269 – Evaluate effects of  manure application in combination  with cover on  plant endophytes using metagenomics, PEI Living Labs project - Using living laboratory approach to develop and transfer innovative soil and water quality BMPs in Prince Edward Island, $102,700

2. 2019- 2022  J-002235 – Quality attributes in small fruit crops - Improvement of quality attributes in strawberry, raspberry and blackberry using metabolomic and genomic approaches, $40,000

3. 2019-2023  J-002214 – Lupuloides hops development - Evaluating phytochemical and agronomic traits of native hops (Humulus lupulus ssp lupuloides) for Eastern Canadian production systems, $33,360

4. 2018-2021    J-001776 – Cover Crops, Disease & Soil Biodiversity - Impact of cover cropping on soil microbial biodiversity, disease and pathogen load. Adam Forster (Lead), $100,000

5. 2018-2023  J-002035 – ASC-05 Diverse FC Cluster Activity 4A - ASC-05 Diverse FC Cluster Activity 4A: Genomics and molecular markers to identify resistance genes in flax, $80,000

Recently completed  projects 

6. 2015-2019  J-000991 – Integrated research-development-technology-transfer approach to enhance productivity and sustainability of potato production in Canada, $340,000

7. 2015-2018  J-001005 –Developing eastern hop (Humulus lupulus var. lupuloides) germplasm resources for improved quality traits and disease resistance, $36,000

8. 2013-2017  J-000916 – Understanding the bio-insecticidal properties of buckwheat for wireworm control and the benefits associated with growing it as a rotation crop/Understanding the microbial diversity in the buckwheat rhizosphere when compared to other rotation crops and to understand the potential interactions between the plant, the soil microbiomes and wireworm.. $ 121,300

9. 2013-2016.  J-000076 – Development of a proof-of-concept for the generation and use of mutagenized dihaploid potato lines for accelerated breeding of potato cultivars low in glycoalkaloid content and acrylamide in processed product, $121,000

10 2009-2014 – Flax Total Utilization Flax GENomics (TUFGEN) project/. Flax lignan biosynthesis, bioavailability and bioactivity, $308,750.

11. 2009-2011 – Rosehip – Innovative Canadian bioActives and Nutraceuticals  (ICAN)-rosehip project”/Rosehip genomic and germplasm characterization aspects, $316,569; Dr. Fofana : $194,269 (RBPI #1636).


Research and/or project statements

Dr. Fofana’s research program is focused on the development and characterization of pre-breeding germplasm, development of bioprocesses and genomic resources from plant and microbial bioresources for high-quality oilseed and horticultural crops, and valued bioproducts for breeders, biologists, food and non-food, and health and wellness industry. He uses molecular physiology, genomics and metagenomics as tools to achieve his objectives including:

  • Crop remodeling

  • Metabolite re-engineering

  • Seed quality

  • Biofuels feedstock engineering

  • Pre-postharvest quality

  • Germplasm development

Professional activities / interests

Editorial Functions

  • Technical Editor, Horticulture section, Canadian Journal of Plant Science  2019-present

  • Associate Editor, Botany  2018-present

  • Associate Editor, Canadian Journal of Plant Science  2016-present

  • Invited reviewer for many journals

Education and awards


2006   Certification in Higher Education Teaching (CHET)- University of Manitoba, Winnipeg

1999    Ph.D. Plant Molecular Biology and Genetics -Gembloux Agricultural University, Belgium

1995    M.Sc. Plant Molecular Biology and Genetics -Gembloux Agricultural University,Belgium

1993    AEA Plant Breeding - National University of Ivory Coast, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

1992    Msc Genetics – National - University of Ivory Coast, Abidjan, Ivory Coast

1991,   Bsc Biology and Natural Science - University of Ivory Coast, Abidjan, Ivory Coast



Research Fellowship, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council Canada, 2002-2005

Research Award, Belgian State Secretary for Cooperation Development Price, 1998

Travel Scholarship, Belgian National Funds for Scientific Research, 1998

Graduate Foreign Scholarship, Ivorian Government, Ministry of Higher Education & Scientific Research, 1993 – 1999.

International experience and/or work

Advisor, Volunteer  - CESO-SACO: work assignements to Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast, 2017, 2018.

Key publications

  1. The Search for Powdery Mildew Resistance Genes in Flax

    2020 - View publication details

  2. Till BJ, Aravena Abarzua GA, Howard-Till R, Qian R, Gajardo H, Cloutier S, Fofana B, Soto-Cerda BJ (2020) Genomic improvement of flax using natural variation and induced mutations. Proc 28th Plant and Animal Genome Conference, San Diego, USA, Jan 11-15, W436

    2020 - View publication details

  3. Ghose, K., McCallum, J., Sweeney-Nixon, M., Fofana, B. (2015). Histidine 352 (His352) and tryptophan 355 (Trp355) are essential for flax UGT74S1 glucosylation activity toward secoisolariciresinol, 10(2),

    2015 - View publication details

  4. Wang, Y., Fofana, B., Roy, M., Ghose, K., Yao, X.H., Nixon, M.S., Nair, S., Nyomba, G.B.L. (2015). Flaxseed lignan secoisolariciresinol diglucoside improves insulin sensitivity through upregulation of GLUT4 expression in diet-induced obese mice, 18 1-9.

    2015 - View publication details

  5. Fofana, B., Sanderson, K. (2015). AAC sylvia-arlene rose for rosehip production, 95(3), 609-613.

    2015 - View publication details

  6. Ghose, K., Selvaraj, K., McCallum, J., Kirby, C.W., Sweeney-Nixon, M., Cloutier, S.J., Deyholos, M., Datla, R., Fofana, B. (2014). Identification and functional characterization of a flax UDP-glycosyltransferase glucosylating secoisolariciresinol (SECO) into secoisolariciresinol monoglucoside (SMG) and diglucoside (SDG), 14(1),

    2014 - View publication details

  7. Fofana, B., Main, D., Ghose, K., Grimmett, M., Peters, R.D., Martin, R.A., Mester, Z., Yang, L., Locke, S., Sweeney, M. (2014). Selenomethionine and total methionine ratio is conserved in seed proteins of selenium-treated and nontreated soybean, flax, and potato, 54(5), 2251-2261.

    2014 - View publication details

  8. Ghose, K., McCallum, J., Fillmore, S., Kirby, C., Sanderson, K., Joly, S., Bruneau, A., Fofana, B. (2013). Structuration of the genetic and metabolite diversity among Prince Edward Island cultivated wild rose ecotypes, 160 251-263.

    2013 - View publication details

  9. Rasul, G., Humphreys, G.D., Wu, J., Brûlé-Babel, A., Fofana, B., Glover, K.D. (2012). Evaluation of preharvest sprouting traits in a collection of spring wheat germplasm using genotype and genotype×environment interaction model, 131(2), 244-251.

    2012 - View publication details

  10. Fofana, B., Cloutier, S., Kirby, C.W., McCallum, J., Duguid, S. (2011). A well balanced omega-6/omega-3 ratio in developing flax bolls after heating and its implications for use as a fresh vegetable by humans, 44(8), 2459-2464.

    2011 - View publication details

  11. Kirby, C.W., McCallum, J.L., Fofana, B. (2011). A 1H NMR study of the fatty acid distribution in developing flax bolls before and after a cooking treatment, 89(9), 1138-1142.

    2011 - View publication details

  12. Fofana, B., Yao, X.H., Rampitsch, C., Cloutier, S., Wilkins, J.A., Nyomba, B.L.G. (2010). Prenatal alcohol exposure alters phosphorylation and glycosylation of proteins in rat offspring liver, 10(3), 417-434.

    2010 - View publication details

  13. DePauw, R.M., Clarke, F.R., Fofana, B., Knox, R., Humphreys, G., Cloutier, S. (2009). RL4137 contributes preharvest sprouting resistance to Canadian wheats, 168(3), 347-361.

    2009 - View publication details

  14. Fofana, B., Humphreys, D.G., Rasul, G., Cloutier, S., Brûlé-Babel, A., Woods, S., Lukow, O.M., Somers, D.J. (2009). Mapping quantitative trait loci controlling pre-harvest sprouting resistance in a red x white seeded spring wheat cross, 165(3), 509-521.

    2009 - View publication details

  15. Fofana, B., Humphreys, G., Rasul, G., Cloutier, S., Somers, D. (2008). Assessment of molecular diversity at QTLs for preharvest sprouting resistance in wheat using microsatellite markers, 51(5), 375-386.

    2008 - View publication details

  16. Fofana, B., Humphreys, D.G., Cloutier, S., McCartney, C.A., Somers, D.J. (2008). Mapping quantitative trait loci controlling common bunt resistance in a doubled haploid population derived from the spring wheat cross RL4452 x AC Domain, 21(3), 317-325.

    2008 - View publication details

  17. Fofana, B., Banks, T.W., McCallum, B., Strelkov, S.E., Cloutier, S. (2007). Temporal gene expression profiling of the wheat leaf rust pathosystem using cDNA microarray reveals differences in compatible and incompatible defence pathways, 2007

    2007 - View publication details

  18. Humphreys, D.G., Townley-Smith, T.F., Czarnecki, E., Lukow, O.M., Fofana, B., Gilbert, J., McCallum, B., Fetch, T., Menzies, J. (2007). Kanata hard white spring wheat, 87(4), 879-882.

    2007 - View publication details

Research facility

440 University Avenue
Charlottetown, PE C1A 4N6


  • Adjunct professor, Biology Department, UPEI, 2008 – present

  • Adjunct professor, Adjunct Professor, Department of Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Agriculture Dalhousie University, April 2020 - Present

  • Member of the Canadian Society of plant Physiologists, October 2006-present

  • Member of the PEI Institute of Agrologists, April 2008-present

  • Member/Secretary of the Canadian Society for Horticultural Science, April 2016 - present