Microflora diversity on the phyloplane of wild Okra (Corchorus olitorius L. Jute)
Indigenous people especially in southern Nigeria use Corchorus olitorius L. (Jute) as a staple vegetable. Population dynamics, richness and frequency of occurrence of microflora isolates on healthy green leaves of wild okra were estimated within two weeks at weekly intervals using the dilution technique. This study was conducted in the University of Benin intend to show the diversity of microorganisms on the leaves of wild okra. The leaves were categorized based on their period of harvest into old, new and middle with a week interval between each harvest. After serial dilution in
distilled water, isolation was done using nutrient agar for bacteria and potato dextrose agar for fungi. After incubation colony forming units per millimeter were counted, isolated, identified and characterized using standard microbiological techniques. The fungal diversity and frequency of
occurrence were higher in the first sampling (61.50% and 62.07% respectively) than those of the second sampling (38.50% and 37.93%). Total viable microbial population in the second sampling after two weeks was higher (11.23 X 102cfu/ml) than in the first sampling after one week (10.00 X 102cfu/ml). The total cumulative bacterial count was higher (15.69X 102cfu/ml) than those of fungi (55.40 X 102 cfu/ml) during the studies. Bacterial genera isolated included; Staphylococcus, Bacillus, Micrococcus, Serratia and Proteus. Rhodotorula, Mucor, Trichoderma, Aspergillus, Penicillium, and Helminthosporium were the genera of fungi isolated. Further studies could help to elucidate major players in wild okra phylloplane ecology.
Keywords: Wild Okra (Corchorus olitorius), Phylloplane, Microflora population, Bacteria, Fungi