Open Access Original Research Article

Seedling Morphology of Four Acacia Mill. (Fabaceae) Species and Its Significance in Plant Taxonomy

Vijay K. Meena, Soumana Datta

Asian Journal of Research in Botany, Page 1-10

Acacia species commonly identify by their reproductive characters such as indefinite number of stamens (more than 10) that are free or united only at the base and a calyx that is in valvate aestivation, pods, etc. In India Acacia species are found in all climatic regions but they are found to play a major role in arid and semi-arid areas and effect the environment and communities. The seedling is the very juvenile stage of a plant after germination. Seedling investigation give a good data for identify a particular species at juvenile stage or germination phase. In seedling taxonomy we do focus on wide range of characters such as root, hypocotyl, cotyledon, epicotyl, stem, phyllotaxy, eophyll, heteroblastic development of leaves etc. In Acacia seedlings, the number of leaflets, spines, and the shoot height are also important characters. Seedling taxonomy as a tool gives a very significant knowledge about the process of establishment of stable adult traits in mature plants from transition to juvenile stage. Acacia species seeds covered by thick seed coat that inhibit the germination of seeds so to reduce the dormancy period various pre-germination treatment methods are used such as soaking in boiling water, mechanical and chemical scarification of the seed coat. After germination we observe seedling characters and make a dichotomous identification key to distinguish them. As mature Acacia are usually identify and distinguished from other plants by inflorescence and pod's characteristics. So there is a need for their distinction at earlier stages where these reproductive characteristics are absent.

Open Access Original Research Article

Control of Yam Rot using Leaf Extracts of Utazi Gongronema latifolia and Moringa oleifera

Ejimofor Chiamaka Frances, Oledibe Odira Johnson, Nwakoby Nnamdi Enoch

Asian Journal of Research in Botany, Page 11-20

Dioscorecea rotundata are among the most important tropical root crop. Yams are a staple crop in many parts of Africa and Southeast Asia. Besides their importance as food source, yams also play a significant role in the socio-cultural lives of some producing regions like the celebrated new yam festival in West Africa, a practice that has also extended to overseas where there is a significant population of the tribes that observe it. This research was carried out on the antimicrobial effect of the leaf extracts of Gongronema latifolia and Moringa oleifera for the control of Dioscorecea rotundata tuber rot caused by Fusarium oxysporum, Penicilium oxalicum, Fusarium solani, Botryodiploidia theobromae,  Rhizopus spp, Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus. The highest percentage occurring organisms were P. oxalicum, Rhizopus sp,  F. oxysporum,  and A. niger. Qualitative phytochemical screening of the extracts was conducted which revealed the presence of alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, saponins, sterols and phenols. The zone of inhibition of the leaf extracts of G. latifolia and M. oleifera revealed that M. oleifera gave higher inhibition of F. oxysporum (at all concentrations), A. niger and A. flavus. However, G.  latifolia  gave higher inhibition of A. niger and A. flavus at different concentrations. The study revealed that A. flavus was the most susceptible organism to the effect of the leaf extracts of G. latifolia and M. oleifera while F. oxysporum and A. niger were the most resistant organisms against these leaf extracts. There was significant difference in the inhibitory activity of the leaf extracts of G. latifolia and M. oleifera against F. oxysporum, A. niger and A. flavus at different concentrations. Hence, G. latifolia and M. oleifera leaves could be the best alternative ways of reducing and controlling rot by farmers these extract can be easily prepared by farmers.

Open Access Original Research Article

Nutritional Assesment of the Healthy and Unhealthy Watermelon Fruit in Uli, Anambra State, Nigeria

Ejimofor Chiamaka Frances, Oledibe Odira Johnson, Ezenwata Ifeoma Susan, Nwakoby Nnamdi Enoch

Asian Journal of Research in Botany, Page 21-30

Fruits are excellent source of nutrition and should be consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet. Just like vegetables, fruits are great source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber and water. In the fruit group, several fruits are considered to be super foods. A study on the nutritional value of healthy and unhealthy watermelon fruit was carried out using standard laboratory procedures by using the method described by Association of Official Analytical Chemist. The proximate analysis of the healthy and unhealthy watermelon fruit studied showed that the highest carbohydrate (43.30±0.028), protein (8.82±0.025), crude fat (3.38±0.030) and crude fibre (30.25±0.28) contents were that of healthy watermelon fruit whereas  the lowest [carbohydrate(30.58±0.028), protein (3.28±0.017), crude fat (1.36±0.028) and crude fibre (10.10±0.011)] were observed to be that of the unhealthy watermelon. However, in the case of the moisture content , the unhealthy watermelon fruit had the highest with 20.14±0.003 against the 9.89±0.028 of the healthy one. Analysis of the mineral content was found in the healthy and unhealthy watermelon fruit indicated high phosphorus (230±0.030) and potassium (122.4±0.028) content in the healthy fruit and the lowest (216±0.028 and 118±0.02 of P and K respectively) in the unhealthy one. The calcium content (146.5±0.001) of the unhealthy watermelon fruit on the contrary was the highest while  that of the healthy one was the least with 120.0±0.003. Thus it can be concluded that nutrients found in the fruits are in variable concentrations. Therefore the consumption of healthy watermelon on daily basis is recommended for normal body function and healthy life.

Open Access Original Research Article

Growth and Water Content Responses of the Selected Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz) Genotypes to Drought and Salinity; and their Effects on Yield

B. Abiola Monsurat, O. J. Oyetunji, O. S. Oyetunji

Asian Journal of Research in Botany, Page 31-46

Aims: To screen ten selected cassava genotypes for tolerance to drought and salinity using growth and yield attributes; and leaf relative water contents (LRWC) as screening tools.

Study design: The design was factorial consisting of ten cassava genotypes, three treatments (and control) with six replications laid out in a randomized complete block design(RCBD).

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Botany, University of Ibadan, between January and July, 2019.

Methodology: There were a total of 240 experimental units, 60 units in each group. It was a semi-field experiment. All plants were watered for 6 weeks before exposing them to the physiological stresses of drought (D), salinity (S) and their interaction (D×S). The designated plants were subjected to S by applying 100mM of NaCl solution, D by with-holding water for 2 weeks interval, (D×S) by combining the two stresses and the first block (the first 60 units) served as control.

Results: With respect to plant height, the least and most significantly affected by drought were IBA120008 (61.94 cm) and I098510 (32.77 cm); by salinity were IBA120008 (57.09 cm) and I920326 (35.24 cm) and by D×S were IBA120008 (67.45 cm) and I920326 (34.57cm), respectively. With respect to RWC at the final stage of growth, the most tolerant were TMEB419 (100.00%) under D, I980581 (100.00%) under S and I010040 (100.00%) under D×S while the most susceptible were TMEB693 (89.75%), IBA120008 (63.64%) and I070593 (55.56%) under D, S and D×S respectively. In all the three stresses, genotype I980581 was the least significantly affected with the tuber yield of 174.54g.

Conclusion: High shoot growth does not guarantee high yield. It can also be concluded that drought had more detrimental effects on cassava productivity than salinity and their combination.

Open Access Original Research Article

Groundnut Paste and Nutrient Quality Stability Using Local Seeds

F. N. C. Okogbule, S. O. Minimah, E. A. Obichi

Asian Journal of Research in Botany, Page 47-53

Research on the effects of treatment of groundnut paste with the powdered seed samples of three common edible plants was conducted in the Plant Science and Biotechnology Laboratory, Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The plant seed materials used were the Uziza seed (Piper guineense), Ewhuru seed (Monodora myristica) and Alligator pepper (Afromomum melegueta). The seed samples were aseptically treated and sundried for three days and crushed into powder. Groundnut paste was also prepared aseptically from fried and ground groundnuts. Ten (10) grams of the groundnut paste was weighed and varying concentrations of the powdered seed added to the pastes and labeled accordingly. The treated groundnut paste samples were allowed to store in the laboratory and their proximate and mineral compositions tested for a period of three months on a monthly basis to determine the effects of the applied powdered seeds. It was observed that moisture contents of the groundnut paste treated with the various seed powder reduced irrespective of the concentrations used. Uziza seed powder increased the ash content, lipid and protein content of the groundnut paste. Carbohydrate and the lipid values of samples treated with uziza seed reduced. Powdered Ewhuru seed increased the carbohydrate, lipid and protein and also increased the ash and fibre values at 2g and 4g concentrations. However, ash and fibre contents reduced at 6g, 8g and 10g. Alligator pepper powder increased Carbohydrate, lipid, and protein contents of groundnut pastes but reduced moisture, fibre and ash. The reduction of moisture by all the seed samples is commendable as too much moisture leads to faster deterioration of agricultural products. However, the general increase in the protein contents of the groundnut paste is a good attribute in terms of value addition to the product. In general, the addition of dried and powdered leafy vegetables to groundnut paste will enhance the quality of this cherished local delicacy. The fungal isolates which were responsible for spoilage were A. niger, A. flavus, Fusarium, Penicillium and Candida sp. These fungal isolates are of great public health importance as they could cause spoilage to the food and harm to consumers.