Bio-Research <p>The “Journal of Biological Research and Biotechnology (Bio-Research)” is a peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary, international, scientific Open Access Journal that provides publication of articles on biological sciences and biotechnology. The journal established in 2003, is published by the faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria. The Journal welcomes submission of manuscripts in the form of original and reviews articles, brief and case reports, special communications and editorials, that meet the general criteria of significance and scientific excellence. Papers will be published online approximately one-to-two weeks after acceptance.</p> <p>Publication of articles in the Journal of Biological Research and Biotechnology (Bio-Research) involves several parties, each of which performs an essential role in achieving the aims and objectives of the journal. Thus, all players (author, the journal editor, the peer-reviewer, and the publisher) are expected to meet and uphold standard norms of ethical behaviour from submission to the publication stage, depending on the area of involvement.</p> Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria en-US Bio-Research 1596-7409 <p>Copyright: Creative Commons Attribution CC.</p> <p>This license lets others distribute, remix, tweak, and build upon your work, even commercially, as long as they credit you for the original creation. This is the most accommodating of licenses offered. Recommended for maximum dissemination and use of licensed materials. View License Deed | View Legal Code Authors can also self-archive their manuscripts immediately and enable public access from their institution's repository. This is the final corrected version that has been accepted for publication and which typically includes author-incorporated changes suggested during submission, peer review and in editor-author communications.</p> Leaf epidermal and petiole anatomical features as taxonomic characters in some Vernonia species in Nigeria <p>Foliar and petiole micro-morphological characteristics of some members of the genus <em>Vernonia </em>namely; <em>Vernonia amygdalina </em>Del. (bitter variety), <em>Vernonia amygdalina </em>Del. (non-bitter variety), <em>Vernonia cinerea </em>(L) Less., <em>Vernonia galamensis</em> (Cass.) Less., and <em>Vernonia adoensis </em>Sch. Bip<em>. </em>in Jos, Nigeria was investigated to provide additional micro-morphological characters to support existing taxonomic information regarding the species. Epidermal peels of fresh leaves were made and transverse sections of petioles were cut using a rotary microtome. Staining was done using Safranin and slides observed using a light microscope. Quantitative characters were measured and subjected to Duncan Multiple Range Test. Stomatal distribution was amphistomatic except for <em>V. galamensis </em>and <em>V. cinerea</em> with hypostomatic distribution; stomata type was mostly anomocytic except <em>V. galamensis </em>with paracytic stomata. Stomata index varied among taxa with <em>V. adoensis</em> and <em>V. amygdalina</em> (bitter variety) having the highest (10.84 %) and lowest (0.67%) respectively. Anticlinal cell wall patterns were straight to slightly undulate while wavy anticlinal cell wall pattern was diagnostic to <em>V. cinerea</em>. Trichome types observed were glandular and multicellular uniseriate with highest and lowest trichome indices recorded in <em>V. adoensis</em> (2.80%) and <em>V. galamensis </em>(0.02%) respectively. Petiole outline was convex to concave, epidermis was uniseriate, trichome multicellular uniseriate and vascular bundles bicollateral. Variations observed in the stomatal complex, epidermal cell complex, petiole outline, petiole vasculature type, trichome and stomata indices could be employed for species identification and delimitation.</p> Ogochukwu Esther Okanume Solomon Gabriel Abok Oluwatobi Adekunle Oso Copyright (c) 2022-02-09 2022-02-09 20 1 1388 1397 10.4314/br.v20i1.1 Evaluation of the antibacterial properties of the extracts and fractions of Ipomoea triloba l. (Convolvulaceae) on selected enteric diarrheagenic bacteria <p>Diarrhoea is a leading killer of young children accounting for approximately 8% of all deaths among children ˂ 5 years worldwide and causes neonatal mortality and hospitalization in geriatrics. <em>Ipomoea triloba </em>L. has been claimed to have antidiarrheal properties. This study evaluated antibacterial properties of the ethanol / aqueous extracts and fractions of <em>I. triloba </em>on diarrheagenic bacteria to validate its use in trado-medical treatment of diarrhoea. Aqueous and ethanol extracts of pulverized <em>I. triloba</em> were prepared by cold maceration and phytochemical screening was performed using standard procedures. Diarrheagenic bacteria were isolated from twenty (20) composite diarrhoeal stool samples by community bioprospecting using appropriate selective and differential media. <em>In vitro </em>antibacterial activity of extracts and fractions of <em>I. triloba </em>was determined by the modified agar-well diffusion technique, while minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) was determined by reference standard agar-dilution technique (ADT) after re-incubation of MIC samples at 37<sup>o </sup>C for 24 h. A total of 74 isolates, belonging to six genera, were identified with their numbers and percentages of occurrence as follows: <em>Escherichia coli, </em>26 (35.1%)<em>, Staphylococcus aureus, </em>4 (5.4 %)<em>, Pseudomonas aeruginosa</em>, 9 (12.2%)<em>, Shigella dysenteriae</em>, 18 (24.3%)<em>, Salmonella typhi</em>, 8 (10.8%) and<em> Vibrio cholera, </em>9 (12.2%). Flavonoids, saponins, terpenes, carbohydrates and steroids were detected in both extracts. Ethanol extracts (≥30&nbsp;mm) showed more potent broad-spectrum antibacterial activity than aqueous extract (≥18&nbsp;mm). The MIC and MBC values ranged from 250 to 500 mg/mL and 500 to 1000 mg/mL respectively, thus establishing a time-dependent bactericidal mode of antibacterial activity. The best antibacterial activity was elicited by dichloromethane fraction. From the study, <em>I. triloba </em>possesses antibacterial potentials and may be exploited in the chemotherapy of bacterial diarrhoea.</p> Mfonobong Favour Alozie Ubong Samuel Ekong Daniel Ekpa Effiong Edidiong Jumbo Udofa Olajide Joseph Akinjogunla Copyright (c) 2022-02-17 2022-02-17 20 1 1398 1408 10.4314/br.v20i1.2 Application of microbial synthesized phytohormones in the management of environmental impacts on soils <p>With the world's population growing at an exponential rate, pollution of the ecosystem by heavy metals from anthropogenic activities poses a major threat to agricultural and food security worldwide. Phytohormones are biochemical signal molecules that alter plant responses to different biotic and abiotic stresses. Exogenous use of microbially produced phytohormone in heavy metal remediation and stress tolerance induction, has gained popularity due to its environmental friendliness and sustainability. Microbially produced phytohormones have huge biotechnological potentials and have been exploited in phytoremediation assisted removal of heavy metals, and inducing stress tolerance to plants. This paper exhaustively discusses the remedial roles of microbial phytohormones in heavy metal removal and enhancing plant tolerance to stress. However, the exact mechanism of action and the genetic interplay during the process need to be further studied to better understand the specific key pathways involved in the process.</p> Chukwuemeka Cornelius Ezeh Chinonye Jennifer Obi Anene Nwabu Moneke Copyright (c) 2022-02-17 2022-02-17 20 1 1409 1425 10.4314/br.v20i1.3 Simultaneous production of cellulase and amylase by Aspergillus fumigatus IB-A1 <p>Utilization of agricultural wastes for production of useful metabolites requires hydrolysis using both cellulase and amylase enzymes. We isolated <em>Aspergillus</em> <em>fumigatus</em> IB-A1 and evaluated its ability to simultaneously produce both cellulase and amylase. Although the isolate could produce both cellulase and amylase from either soluble starch or carboxymethyl cellulose, amylase activity was higher with soluble starch while cellulase activity was higher when carboxymethyl cellulose was used as the sole carbon source. With a mixture of carboxymethyl cellulose and soluble starch, both the amylase and cellulase activities increased with increase in the ratio of soluble starch. The optima ratio of carboxymethyl cellulose to soluble starch for cellulase and amylase activities were 0.7:0.3, and 0.4 to 0.6 respectively. For practical application, the optimum ratio of carboxymethyl cellulose to soluble starch in the production medium depends on the relative composition of cellulose and starch in the substrate to be hydrolyzed. The isolate was also able to efficiently produce both amylase and cellulase from cassava peel. With 10 g/L cassava peel, the cellulase and amylase activities were 6.122± 0.320 U/ml/min and 4.342± 0.210 U/ml/min respectively. When the cells were immobilized on loofa sponge and subjected to alternating air phase- liquid phase culture, cellulase and amylase production from cassava peel increased to 8.106± 0.620 U/ml/min and 5.206± 1.24 U/ml/min respectively. The optimum ratio of the air phase to the liquid phase was 3 hours of air phase to 21 hours of liquid phase.</p> Ifeanyi Boniface Ezea Yoshinori Murata James Chukwuma Ogbonna Copyright (c) 2022-03-01 2022-03-01 20 1 1426 1433 10.4314/br.v20i1.4 Hepato-protective potentials of aqueous, chloroform and methanol leaf extracts of Whitfieldia lateritia on 2, 4-dinitrophenylhydrazine-induced anaemia in rats <p>This study aimed at investigating the hepato-protective potentials of the aqueous, chloroform and methanol leaf extracts of <em>Whitfieldia lateritia</em> on 2, 4-dinitrophenylhydrazine (2,4-DNPH)-induced anaemia in rats. The toxicity study, quantitative phytochemical screening, total and direct bilirubin concentrations, mean protein, albumin and globulin concentrations, as well as mean liver marker enzymes activities (ALT, AST and ALP) were carried out using standard procedures. Thirty-six wistar rats were grouped into six (<em>n </em>=6). Group I: normal control; Group II: negative control; Group III: administered 0.6 ml/kg body weight (b.w) of Astifer (standard Haematinic); Group IV to VI were administered 400 mg/kg b. w. of the aqueous, chloroform and methanol leaf extracts, respectively. Induction of anaemia was achieved in the test groups (II-VI) by administration of 2, 4-dinitrophenylhydrazine (20 mg/kg b.w.) once daily for seven days. Administration of extracts commenced subsequently and lasted for 21 days. Animals were sacrificed on the 22<sup>nd</sup> day and blood collected for laboratory analysis. ALT, AST and ALP activities of group II anaemic rats showed significant (P &lt; 0.05) reduction compared with normal control rats. Group III rats showed significant (P &lt; 0.05) increase in ALT, AST and ALP activities compared with group II anaemic rats. Group IV rats showed significant (P &lt; 0.05) increase in ALT and AST activity compared with group III rats. The total bilirubin concentration of group II rats was non-significantly (P &gt; 0.05) higher compared with the normal control rats. Groups IV and VI rats showed non-significant (P &gt; 0.05) reduction in total bilirubin concentration compared with group V rats. In conclusion, <em>W. lateritia</em> leaf has beneficial hepato-protective properties in Wistar rats at therapeutic dose that supports its use in the treatment of hepatic diseases</p> Oti Agha Aja Simeon Ikechukwu Egba Emmanuel Nnaemeka Uhuo Prince Ogochukwu Alaebo Obinna Joseph Mba Chinwe Edith Oriaku Copyright (c) 2022 2022-03-01 2022-03-01 20 1 1434 1445 10.4314/br.v20i1. Genetic assessment of Mangifera indica Linn. (Mango) from selected locations in Oyo State, Nigeria <p>This study characterized five (5) varieties of mango comprising 15 accessions collected from Ogbomosho, Saki, Ibadan and other locations in Oyo State. The field experiment was laid out in a Complete Randomized Design (CRD) with three replicates. Morphological characters were assessed on the stem, leaf and fruit. Also, Molecular studies (DNA amplification and sequencing) were carried out on 15 accessions of mango. The edited sequences were blasted in the National Center of Biotechnology Information (NCBI) data website. The Results showed variability in morphological characters of Mango. Ogbomosho Acc-2 performed best for leaf width (4.53cm) and lamina length (16.25cm) while Isehin Acc-1 had the highest number of leaves per seedling (7.76cm), leaf length (17.06cm), leaf area (38.84cm), petiole length (2.27cm), plant height (24.07cm) respectively. The Number of leaves had positive correlation with Leaf length (r=0.53), Leaf Area (r=0.59), Internodal Length (r= 0.55) and strong positive correlation with plant height (r=0.73) at p≤0.05.&nbsp; The success rate of amplified DNA products and sequencing was 77.78%. The query coverage of 99% and 100% confirmed positive amplification and sequencing of <em>rbcL</em> gene in the mango varieties.&nbsp; The sequences blasted in the NCBI data website were identified to be similar to accession KX871231.1. Sequences of <em>rbcL</em> marker showed genetic differences among samples; Grafe and OGBM Acc -1. Genetic distance between varieties from the same location was most often lower with Grafe mango being the most distant variety with genetic distance of 0.114-0.117. There were morphological and molecular variations in mango varieties and accessions. Isehin Acc-1, Saki Acc-1 and OGBM Acc-6 accessions had better growth performance</p> Joseph Odunayo Olawuyi Abiodun Emmanuel Ayodele Precious Chiwendu Ezekiel Isaac Iseoluwa Ajayi Copyright (c) 2022-03-03 2022-03-03 20 1 1446 1460 10.4314/br.v20i1.6 Chemical characteristics of groundnut and sheanut shell biochars as adsorbents and soil conditioners in the era of ecological sustainability <p>This study investigated the influence of pyrolysis temperatures on characteristics of groundnut and sheanut shell biochars as potential adsorbents and soil conditioners. Groundnut and sheanut shell biochars were produced at pyrolysis temperatures of 350 ± 5 °C and 700 ± 5 °C using muffle furnace. The chemical characteristics of the biochars were analysed, potential contamination and ecological risk were determined based on the metal enrichment index and potential ecological risk index (PERI). pH values of the biochars ranged from 9.42 to 10.23 and 662.33 to 3206.67 μS/cm for electrical conductivity. The total compositions of carbon and nitrogen for GB350, GB700, SB350 and SB700 ranged from 58.13% to 70.23% and 0.45% to 1.37%, respectively. The minerals composition of GB350, GB700, SB350 and SB700 ranged from 12944.92 to 20873.30 mg/kg for potassium, 192.24 to 410.72 mg/kg for sodium, 3567.98 to 13451.83 mg/kg for calcium and 1150.33 to 3414.34 mg/kg for magnesium. The pH of the biochars is found to be alkaline which upsurge with increasing pyrolysis temperature. Concentrations of nutrients such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus diverse in groundnut shells feedstocks due to the pyrolysis conditions. The groundnut and sheanut shell biochars can increase essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in soil, which are conducive to growth of plant. The availability of phosphorus in the biochars make it phosphorus-rich and can be used as slow-release fertilisers. The potential toxic metals in the groundnut and sheanut shell biochars have values that suggested low contamination and less potential ecological risk making the biochars ecofriendly. Groundnut and sheanut shell biochars can be used in fields as an adsorbent and a soil amendment based on its chemical characteristics.</p> Abudu Ballu Duwiejuah Abdul-Halim Abubakari Albert Kojo Quainoo Yakubu Amadu Copyright (c) 2022 2022-03-11 2022-03-11 20 1 1461 1472 10.4314/br.v20i1.7 Assessment of bacterial isolates associated with mobile phones of meat sellers in selected markets in Benin city, Edo State, Nigeria <p>Mobile phones are essential components used to enhance social life and aid different professions. Swab samples were obtained from ninety-six (96) meat sellers' mobile phones in four (4) major markets; Edaiken, New Benin, Oba and Ogida in Benin City, over a period of four months. Mobile phones were sampled in the morning (8am-10am) and evening (4pm-6pm) between September, 2018 and December, 2018. Samples were immediately transported to the laboratory for microbiological processing and analysis using standard methods. The isolates were enumerated and identified, and antibiotics susceptibility test was carried out before and after plasmid curing. The study revealed that the mean total heterotrophic bacterial counts ranged from 1.07 ± 0.22 x 10<sup>4</sup> CFU/mL in New Benin market to 5.60 ± 0.12 x 10<sup>4</sup> CFU/mL in Edaiken market. The mean total coliform counts ranged from 0.60 ± 0.15 x 10<sup>4</sup> CFU/mL in Ogida Market to 4.63 ± 0.61 x 10<sup>4</sup> CFU/mL in Oba Market. The total staphylococcal counts ranged from 0.27 ± 0.09 x 10<sup>4</sup> CFU/mL in Oba market to 3.00 ± 0 ± 1.30 x 10<sup>4</sup> CFU/mL in New Benin market. <em>Staphylococcus epidermidis</em>, <em>Bacillus</em> spp, <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em>, <em>Klebsiella</em> sp., <em>Pseudomonas aeruginosa</em>, <em>Escherichia coli</em> and<em> Enterococcus</em> sp. were recovered. All the bacterial isolates had multiple antibiotic resistance index greater than the minimum limit of 0.2, indicating that the isolates are of significant public health concern. <em>Escherichia coli</em>, <em>Klebsiella</em> spp, <em>Pseudomonas aeruginosa</em>, <em>Staphylococcus aureus</em> and <em>Bacillus </em>spp all had multiple plasmids, according to the plasmid profile study. The existence of bacterial isolates linked to human diseases on the phones of meat vendors highlight their potential as fomites, which could lead to disease outbreaks resulting in infections with serious public health implications.</p> Ivy Ivie Edomwonyi Iyore Blessing Idemudia Esosa Emmanuel Imarhiagbe Frederick Osaro Ekhaise Copyright (c) 2022-04-08 2022-04-08 20 1 1473 1483 10.4314/br.v20i1.8 Empirical analysis of amylolytic and proteolytic activities of microbial isolates recovered from deteriorating painted wall surfaces in Lagos Nigeria <p>The biodeterioration of painted walls have been associated with several biological mechanisms such as organic acid production and enzymatic activity of microorganisms amongst other factors. Therefore, this study aims to reveal the involvement of amylases and proteases from indigenous microbes on biodeteriorating painted walls. Microbial strains isolated from biodeteriorating painted walls of selected buildings in Lagos, Nigeria and previously characterized as belonging to the genera <em>Pseudomonas, Candida, Fusarium, Aspergillus, Cerrena and Meyerozyma </em>were used in this study<em>. </em>Amylolytic and proteolytic activities at varying conditions of temperature, pH, incubation time and substrate concentrations were tested. To bridge&nbsp;the knowledge gaps regarding statistical quantification of enzymatic mechanisms in biodeterioration, the Wilcoxon signed rank sum test was used to test the hypothesis that amylolytic/proteolytic activities are equal at all conditions tested. The conditions for optimal activity were observed to be 24h, 37<sup>o</sup>C, pH 2 and 0.01% substrate concentration and 48h, 25<sup>o</sup>C, pH 2, and 1% substrate concentration for amylase and protease respectively. Wilcoxon signed rank test revealed that amylolytic and proteolytic activities do not impact aesthetics on painted walls equally at all environmental conditions considered.</p> Olayide Folashade Obidi Olushina Olawale Awe Miriam Nwanna Igwo-Ezikpe Foluke Okedayo Okekunjo Copyright (c) 2022-04-08 2022-04-08 20 1 1484 1496 10.4314/br.v20i1.9 Ethnobotanical and nutrient survey of indigenous edible fruits, vegetables and mushrooms of Iringa District, Tanzania <p>A study on ethnobotany and nutrients survey of indigenous vegetables, fruits and mushrooms was conducted in March 2020 in Iringa Rural District of Tanzania. The objectives was to collect ethnobotany information of the edibles, analyse the level of nutrients and use the obtained information to create awareness in the community on how to use these edibles to improve its economy and health of the citizens. Questioners were used to obtain ethnobotanical information. Opportunistic collection of the edibles was done in March during the rainy season. One hundred edibles were collected for analysis and 80 respondents were interviewed. Data analysis was accomplished using one way ANOVA in the SPSS software (Version 14). Indigenous names and medicinal use of the edibles were reported. Utility and awareness of the community to the edibles was observed to be higher although not statistically significant. Three vegetable species were observed to be more nutritive and statistically significant than others in terms of Fe<sup>2+</sup> and ß-carotene while all mushrooms collected were observed to be rich in Fe<sup>2+</sup> and PO3<sup>-4</sup>. Three fruit species, four vegetables species, and two mushrooms families were observed to be preferably eaten in the community. <em>Vitex mombasae</em> and <em>Agaricaceae</em> were the dominating population in the study area. However, the differences in the nutrient levels in the fruits and mushrooms were statistically not significant. Communities were gathered to receive feedback and create awareness on the importance and use of the edibles. The government is encouraged to be involved in the dissemination of this information to bolster the economy and improve the health of her people.</p> Washa Bugalama Washa Copyright (c) 2022-04-20 2022-04-20 20 1 1497 1505 10.4314/br.v20i1.10