Kassahun Tesfaye (PhD)

Full name Kassahun Tesfaye (PhD)
Education attended
  • PhD in Plant Genetics, University of  Bonn, Germany, 2006
  • MSc in Applied Genetics (Biology), Faculty of Science, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, 2000
  • BScin Plant Science, Alemaya University of Agriculture, Ethiopia, 1995
  • Ethiopian School Leaving Certificate/ESLCE, Huruta Secondary School, Arsi, Ethiopia, 1991
Academic rank Assistant Professor
Working for AAU Since March 2009
Administrative positions held Director, Institute of Biotechnology
Awards,Memberships Award

  • DAAD(July to September 2011) research visit to Freie University of Berlin (FU), Germany. The aim of the visit was to carry out AFLP analysis of Ethiopian Coffee germplasm, SequencingtrnL-F region of CpDNA of Celtisafricanand developing microsatellite for Prunusafricana using 454 sequence facility at the FU- Freie University of Berlin.
  • CICOPS Scholarship, University of Pavia, Italy(Jan. 2011 to February 2011). To work on Mitochondrial DNAvariations of Ethiopian indigenous cattle breeds: Implications for phylogeny and conservation of Ethiopian breeds.

Membership of Professional Societies

  • Ethiopian Biotechnology Society  (EBS) (Deputy Chairman of the Society)
  • EthiopianCoffeeForest Forum (ECFF)
  • Biological Society of Ethiopia (BSE)
  • Crop Science Society of Ethiopia  (CSS)
Address P.O.Box 32853, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Research interest
  • Genetic marker based genetic recourse evaluation and conservation of crops of Ethiopian/ eastern African origin;
  • Underutilized and orphan crops improvement;
  • Applications of genetic markers to assist population genetics, conservation  and breeding of crops;
  • Molecular systematic and evolution of plants.
  • Detection and assessment of molecular genetic variation in crops and native plants;
  • Genomics and genetic improvements of important food security crops in Ethiopian agriculture system,i.e, yield, quality, pest resistance, drought tolerance, acid soil tolerant/Al toxicity tolerance or other aspects.
  • Orphan and/or  underutilized crops improvement for food and nutritional security in Ethiopia ;
Publications in reputable journals


  1. Gashaw G., Alemu T. and TesfayeK., (2013). Morphological, physiological and biochemical studies on Pyriculariagrisea isolates causing blast disease on finger millet in Ethiopia.In press, Journal of Applied Biosciences
  2. Gashaw G., Alemu T. and TesfayeK., (2013). Evaluation of disease incidence and severity and yield loss of finger millet varieties and mycelial growth inhibition of Pyriculariagrisea isolates using biological antagonists and fungicides in vitro condition. InPress,  Journal of Applied Biosciences.
  3. Lule D.,Tesfaye K., Santie de Villiers, SewalemTsehay, Dida M., and Fetene M., (In press). Genetic Diversity and Eco-geographical Distribution of Eleusine Species Collected from Ethiopia. In pressAfrican Journal of Crop Science
  4. Assefa A., Fetene M., and Tesfaye K., (2013). Agro-morphological, Physiological and yield related Performances of Finger Millet [Eleusinecoracana(L.) Gaertn.] Accessions Evaluated for Drought Resistance under Field Condition. Asian Journal of Agriculture and Rural Development 3(10):709-720
  5. Tesfaye K., Govers, K., Bekele E. and Borsch T. (2013). ISSR fingerprinting of Coffeaarabica throughout Ethiopia reveals high variability in wild populations and distinguishes them from farmer’s varieties. Plant Systematics and Evolution DOI 10.1007/s00606-013-0927-2.
  6. Fisseha Z., Dagne K., Tesfaye K., (2012). Comparison of stability models in multi-environment rice trials in the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia. Ethiopian Journal of Biological Sciences 11: 43-55
  7. Lule D., Tesfaye K., Fetene M., (2012) Qualitative traits diversity and eco- geographical distribution in finger millet (Eleusinecoracanasubsp. Coracana) populations from eastern and south eastern Africa. African Journal of Plant Science 6: 346-354.
  8.  Lule D., Tesfaye K., Fetene M., de Villiers S., (2012).Inheritance and association of quantitative traits in finger millet (Eleusinecoracanasubsp. Coracana) landraces collected from Eastern and south eastern Africa. International Journal of Genetics 2:12-21.
  1. Lule D., Tesfaye K., Fetene M., de Villiers S., (2012).Multivariate analysis of quantitative traits in finger millet (Eleusinecoracanasubsp. Coracana)  population collected eastern and southeastern Africa: detection for patterns for genetic diversity. International Journal of Agricultural Research 7: 303-314.
  1. Bonfiglio S., Ginja C., De Gaetano A., Achilli A., Olivieri A., Colli L., Tesfaye K., Agha SH., Gama LT., Cattonaro F., Penedo MCT., Ajmone-Marsan P, Torroni A., Ferretti L., (2012). Origin and Spread of Bostaurus: New Clues from Mitochondrial Genomes Belonging to Haplogroup T1.PLoS ONE 7(6): e38601. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038601.
  1. Bonfiglio S., De Gaetano A., Tesfaye K.,Grugni V., Semino O.  andFerretti L., (2012). A novel USP9Y polymorphism allowing a rapid and unambiguous classification of Bostaurus Y chromosomes into haplogroups.Animal genetics. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2052.2012.02328.x
  1. Fikiru E., Tesfaye K. and Bekele E., (2011). Morphological and molecular variation in Ethiopian lentil (Lens culinarisMedikus) varieties.International Journal of Genetics and Molecular Biology Vol. 3(4), pp. 60-67,
  1. Girma G., Tesfaye K.,Bekele E., (2010). Inter Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) analysis of wild and cultivated rice species from Ethiopia. African Journal of  Biotechnology9: 5048-5059.
  1. Fikiru E., Tesfaye K. and Bekele E., (2010). A comparative study of morphological and molecular diversity in Ethiopian lentil (Lens culinarisMedikus) landraces.African Journal of Plant Science 4:242-254.
  1.  Tesfaye K., Borsch, T.Govers, K., and Bekele E. (2007). Characterisation of chloroplast microsatellites and evidence for the recent divergence of the C. arabica and C. eugenioides chloroplast genomes.Genome 50:1112-1129
  1. Fikiru E., Tesfaye K. and Bekele E., (2007). Genetic diversity and population structure of Ethiopian lentil (Lens culinarisMedikus) landraces as revealed by ISSR marker. African Journal of Biotechnology 6:1460-1468.


RegassaFeyissa, GeneneGezu, BayushTegaye and Kassahun Tesfaye,  2013. Community management forest coffee landscape in Ethiopia. A  chapter in CBM Book entitled: Community Biodiversity Management.  Edited by Walter Simon de Boef, AbishkarSubedi, NivaldoPeroni, MarjaThijssen, Elizabeth O’Keeffe. Pp.422. ISBN: 978-0-415-50220-7.

KassahunTesfaye, TamiruOljira, Kim Govers, EndashawBekele, Thomas Borsch, 2008. Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Wild C. arabica Populations in Ethiopia Using Molecular Markers. InGrimaAdugna, BayettaBellachew, TesfayeShimber, EndaleTaye and TayeKufa (Eds.), Coffee Diversity and Knowledge, EIAR, Pp. 109-120. [ISBN: 978-99944-53-21-4]

Kassahun Tesfaye, 2006. Genetic diversity of wild Coffeaarabicapopulations in Ethiopia as a contribution to conservation and use planning. CUVILLIER VERLAG, Gottingen, Pp. 137 [ISBN: 3-86727-986-1].

PadmapatiChintalapati, KefyalewGirma, KassahunTesfaye, Qi Gubo, AndrayRodiyonov, 2001. “ The shift to cereal monocropping, threat or blessing? “ towards sustainable agricultural production in the highlands of Southeast Oromia, Ethiopia.ICRA,2001, Wageningen, The Netherlands. Working Document Series 92.