Effect of Fungal Infection on the Anatomical Integrity of Cells of Some Selected Tubers (Colocasia esculenta, Dioscorea alata and Ipomoea batatas)

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Samuel, T.O.
Ebabhi, A.M.
Kadiri, A.B.
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The Nigerian Journal of Pure and Applied Sciences
Tubers are staple food crops in most parts of West Africa as they serve as a major source of energy to the consumers. The fungi associated with Colocasia esculenta, Ipomoea batatas and Dioscorea alata in storagewere isolated on PDA plates using the pour plate technique. The effects of the fungal hyphae on the anatomical features of the three tubers were also studied using light microscopy. Trichoderma harizanum, Rhizopus stolonifer, Mucor racemosa, Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus brasiliensis, Aspergillus fumigatus, Botrydioplodia theobromae, Penicillium chrysogenum, Ceratocystis fimbriata, Trichoderma viridae, Aspergillus terrus, Fusarium oxysporium and Aspergillus uvarum were identified as fungi associated with the tuber spoilage. Anatomically, the intercellular and intracellular walls of the tissues were greatly disrupted. The structural integrity of the parenchyma cells were negatively affected though the level of hyphae penetration is superficial. Indeed, the relatively harder parts- inner cortex parenchyma area and core amyliferous layer were not yet affected by the hyphal growth most probably because the period of infection was early. This study showed that Aspergillus species were the most isolated fungi and also inferred that though destruction of food crops may not be visible during storage, consumption of infected tubers can lead to adverse health effect which can be avoided.
Fungal infection, tubers, pathogenic fungi, tuberous tissue, parenchyma cells.