Angewandte Mikrobiologie: Offener Zugang
Offener Zugang

ISSN: 2471-9315


Determination of Fungal Population in Maize Grains from Benue State Nigeria

Vange Onyeche*, Umeh JC, Gberikon GM, Ogbonna IO

Determination of fungal population in maize grains collected from Benue State was carried out in this study. One hundred and seventeen maize grain samples purchased from markets in Benue State were screened for toxigenic and non-toxigenic fungal contaminants. Maize samples (500 g each) were collected in sterile polythene bags, labelled and taken to the laboratory for analysis. Isolation and identification of the fungi was carried out using dilution method and standard mycological procedures. Results showed that almost all the seed samples (99.1%) were contaminated. Many (55.6%; 65/117) of the maize grains were moderately contaminated with 1.0 × 06 to 2.7 × 107 colony forming units per gram (cfu/g) of sample, while few (7.1%; 9/117) showed high level of fungal contamination (>8.2 × 107 cfu/g). Many samples 42.7% (n=50/117) were free of contamination with Rhizopus stolonifer. However, 41.9% (n=49/117) showed some Rhizopus stolonifer contamination (1.0 × 106 to 2.5 × 107 cfu/g). Exactly 40.2% (n=47/117) of the seed samples were free of Aspergillus contamination, while 34.2% (n=40/117) showed some level of contamination (1.0 × 106 –2.0 × 107 cfu/g). Only few (2.6%; n=3/117) were highly contaminated (>6.1 × 107 cfu/g) with Aspergillus. A high number (91.5%; n=107/117) of the maize samples were free of contamination with Penicillium notatum, very few 2.6% (n=3/117) of the samples were lightly contaminated (1.0 × 106 –1.0 × 107 cfu/g). Moderate contamination (1.1 × 107 – 2.0 × 107 cfu/g) was observed for 4.3% (n=5/117) of the maize samples. Majority of the seeds (73.5%, n=86/117) were free of fungal Fusarium contamination, while only a few (4.5%; n=5/117) were heavily contaminated (≥ 4.8 × 107). Due to the high level of fungal contamination found in this study, there may be need for emphasis on education of the populace on the proper method of harvesting, drying, handling, transportation and storage of maize grains by relevant authorities.