Preservation of seeds against fungi using woodash of some tropical forest trees in Nigeria


Temitope O. Oguntade* and Adedotun A. Adekunle

Fresh visually healthy seeds of Zea mays (maize), Cucumeropsis mannii (melon) and Phaseolus vulgaris (bean) were stored under three conditions, wood ash of some tropical forest trees in Nigeria namely; Khaya grandifoliola, Nauclea diderrichii, Piptadeniastrum africanum, Mangifera indica, Mansonia altissima, Triplochiton scleroxylon, Ceiba pentandra, Terminalias superba, Terminalia ivorensis). Seeds treated with benlate, an orthodox fungicide and seeds without any treatment to serve as the control of the experiment. These were set -up at two different locations on the campus (the laboratory and the botanic garden) for six months. The seeds stored with ashes of Nauclea diderrichii and Piptadeniastrum africanum were the most effective, stopping fungal growth and eliminating weevils compared to those seeds stored with benlate which is only effective against fungal growth. P. vulgaris (bean) seeds are the best stored of the three seeds probably due to the low moisture content of the seed. Four pathogenic fungi were isolated from the seeds (maize, melon and bean) at both locations and these include; Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatus and Rhizopus racemosa. Preliminary phytochemical screening revealed that some of these ashes contained a number of active compounds which enable them (ashes extracts) to inhibit the growth of the pathogenic fungi.

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