Author : C.A. Alum1, F.O. Tasie2, L.N. Agbo3, V.I. Onoh4

The soils collected from three locations in three cashew plantations in South East Nigeria (Okigwe,Akamaoghe
and Ugwu-onyeama) were studied using standard microbiological techniques. The soil collection was carried out in the
rainy season and nine soil samples were taken from 0-15 cm soil depth. Each soil sample was analyzed for soil physical and
chemical properties and studied for soil fungi using the soil dilution plate method. The emerging fungal colonies were
enumerated and identified to the species level based on morphologic and microscopic characteristics. Twelve (12) species of
both sporulating yeast and mesophilous fungi were isolated from soil samples collected from the different locations of
cashew plantations studied. Of these, 9 species (Aspergillusflavus, Aspergillusniger,Aspergillusfumigatus, Fusariumsolani,F
usariumoxysporum,Penicillumchrysogenum, Penicillum, Trichoderma and Rhodotorula spp.) belong to Class
Deuteromycetes, 2 species (Mucorindicus and Rhizomucorpusillus) belong to Zygomycetes and 1 specie (Microsporumcanis)
belong to Eurotiomycetes. The plantation site which had the highest Shannon-Wiener’s diversity index of soil fungi was
Akamaoghe2 and Ugwuonyeama2. The highest similarity of fungal community composition between two locations
calculated by Sorensen’s index of similarity occurred between Okigwe2 and Ugwuonyeama1. The analysis of variance of
mean values of soil properties among revealed that the soils were not significantly different from each other except in sodium
and phosphate. The relationships of soil fungi with all the soil factors analyzed bykruskal-wallis test showed that soil fungi
related positively with the Sodium, Phosphate, Calcium and Magnesium contents in soils. It is recommended that the Cashew
plantations should be properly managed, so that there are no abrupt changes in their soil environmental conditions, in order to
keep the existing diversity of soil fungi.
Affiliation :
1, 2, 4 Department of Applied Microbiology and Brewing, ESUT, P M B 01660 Enugu, Nigeria
3Technology Incubation Centre Enugu,National Board for Technology Incubation, Abuja, Nigeria
Keywords : Cashew Plantations, Fungal Diversity, identification, isolation, Soil fungi
Date : Saturday ,31 ,December ,2016

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