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Airborne pollen and spore survey in relation to allergy and plant pathogens in Nsukka, Nigeria

RC Njokuocha
EE Osayi


Airborne bio-particles of allergic significance were recorded at a height of 15m in Nsukka during September 1999 – February 2000. Spores of fungi and pollen grains, which are important part of the exposure that may lead to allergic discomfort and plant diseases, dominated the particles. Other primary sources of the allergic counted included spores of ferns, diatom frustules, algal fragment, insect's parts and charred graminae cuticles. Thirty plant families consisting of 33 pollen types were identified to 10 generic and 23 specific levels. The common pollen grains counted included those of Poaceae, Elaeis guineenis, Casuarina equisetifolia, Asteraceae, Combretaceae/Melastomataceae, Alchornea cordifolia and Amaranthaceae/Chenopodiaceae. The pollen grains of anemophilous plants such as those of Poaceae, Elaeis guineensis, Asteraceae and Casuarina equissetifolia that are regarded among the important causes of allergic rhinitis were commonly counted in the atmosphere. Thirteen spore types of fungi were identified and they belong to three classes: Deuteromycetes, Ascomycetes, and Basidiomycetes. The spores of species of Nigrospora, Ustilago, Cladosporium, Drechelera/Helminthosporium, Fusarium, Alternaria, Puccinia and Curvularia were among the important allergic and pathogenic fungal spore types counted in the study.

Bio-Research Vol. 3(1) 2005: 77-84