Ghana Journal of Science <p>The <em>GHANA JOURNAL OF SCIENCE</em> is published by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research of Ghana. It is open to all papers of scientific and technological nature from Ghana and elsewhere, irrespective of the organization to which the authors belong. The topics need not be related to West Africa.</p> Accra: Council for Scientific and Industrial Research, Ghana en-US Ghana Journal of Science 0855-1448 <p>Copyright for articles published in this journal is retained by the journal.</p><p>This journal content is licensed under a <a class="subfoot" href="" rel="license">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license</a>.</p> Sanitation Practices and Microbial Quality of Drinking Water in Open Defaecation Free and Open Defaecation Communities in the Savelugu Municipality <p>Open defaecation leads to faecal matter contamination of drinking water which can cause water borne diseases. The study assessed the linkage between sanitation practices and microbial quality of drinking water of open defaecation free and open defaecation communities in the Savelugu Municipality. A cross-sectional survey of 170 households was conducted in five open defaecation free and five open defaecation communities in the Savelugu Municipality. A total of 78 samples were collected from water sources and households and analysed for <em>Escherichia coli</em>, <em>Salmonella </em>spp and <em>Shigella </em>spp. Sanitation facilities used by the residents included pit latrine (88.24%), no latrine (11.17%), and flush (0.59%). The study observed improper disposal of children faeces in the communities. <em>E. coli </em>count ranged from 0 to 15 CFU/100 ml in open defaecation free communities and 0 to 32 CFU/100 ml in open defaecation communities. The microbial load in the drinking water from open defaecation communities was higher than open defaecation free communities. Open defaecation practice leads to contamination of household water probably due to unsanitary. Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) should be encouraged in open defaecation communities.</p> N. Bakobie A. R. Ibrahim A. B. Duwiejuah Copyright (c) 2021-01-31 2021-01-31 61 2 1 12 10.4314/gjs.v61i2.1 An Assessment of Scholarly Contributions and Web Visibility among Scientists of CSIR-Building and Road Research Institute, Ghana <p>The introduction of the internet has revolutionized the dissemination and assessment of research outputs with renewed emphasis on the impact of scholarly publications. The purpose of this study was to measure scholarly presence and citation impact of research scientists of the Building and Road Research Institute (CSIR-BRRI) on the internet. Bibliometrics was employed as a quantitative research method for this study using Google Scholar. The results showed that majority (77.5%) of scientists had at least one scholarly reference on the internet. It also found that, almost all (96.5%) scientists who had scholarly works online showed affiliation to the CSIR-BRRI. Again, it was observed that most mentions/hits were journal publications (59%) followed by thesis (35%). However, the study found that there was a weak positive relationship between number of journal articles and citations online, a clear indication that a web presence does not automatically reflect the usefulness of a scholarly output. It is recommended that scientists identify and research into globally relevant topics and also publish in reputable journals to enhance their visibility.</p> N. A. Mingle N. K. Achampong D. L. Acheampong Copyright (c) 2021-01-31 2021-01-31 61 2 13 26 10.4314/gjs.v61i2.2 Protein Enhancement of Yam (<i>Dioscorea rotundata</i>) Peels with Single-or Co-Inoculation of <i>Aspergillus niger</i> Van Tieghem and <i>Trichoderma viride</i> Pers Ex Fr. Under Solid-State Fermentation <p>This study assessed the protein enrichment of sterilized and non-sterilised yam peels substrates fermented for 21 days at 25°C with mono- and co-cultures of <em>Aspergillus niger </em>and <em>Trichoderma viride</em>. Yam substrates were harvested at 0, 7, 14, and 21 days intervals for protein content and other chemical composition analyses. Results showed an overall percentage increase in protein contents of sterilised yam peels by 71.80% for <em>A</em>. <em>niger</em>, 58.03% for <em>T</em>. <em>viride</em>, and 80.60% for co-culture of <em>A</em>. <em>niger </em>and <em>T</em>. <em>viride</em>. Protein contents in non-sterilised yam peels increased by 113.30%, 95.00%, and 96.45% for <em>A</em>. <em>niger</em>, <em>T</em>. <em>viride </em>and co-culture of the test fungi, respectively. The significantly (p ≤ 0.05) higher protein contents of the fermented, non-sterilised yam peels suggest possible successional microbial colonization of the substrate, and their combined, cumulative contributions to protein enhancement, unlike the sterilised yam peels. Ash content significantly (p ≤ 0.05) increased in both sterilised and non-sterilised yam peels. These findings underscore the fact that, through fungal bioprocessing, protein contents of yam peels can be significantly enriched for value-addition. The practical implications of the findings are discussed</p> L. Yafetto G. T. Odamtten E. Birikorang S. Adu Copyright (c) 2021-01-31 2021-01-31 61 2 27 37 10.4314/gjs.v61i2.3 Power Generation from Melon Seed Husk Biochar Using Fuel Cell <p>Melon seed husk (MSH) biochar was used in a single cell direct carbon fuel cell (DCFC) as an alternative biofuel. The DCFCs belong to a generation of energy conversion devices that are characterised with higher efficiencies, lower emission of pollutants and MSH biochar as the fuel. Several analytical techniques (proximate, ultimate and thermo-chemical analysis) were employed to analyse the characteristics of the biomass fuel, their effects on the cell’s performance, and the electrochemical reactions between the fuel and the electrolyte in the system. High carbon content and calorific values are some of the parameters responsible for good performances. The performance of a lab-scale DCFC made of ceramic tubes using molten carbonate electrolyte was investigated. Binary carbonates mixture (Na<sub>2</sub>CO<sub>3</sub>-K<sub>2</sub>CO<sub>3</sub>, 38-62 mol.%) was used as electrolyte and the waste MSH carbonised at 450<sup>o</sup>C as biofuel. A practical evaluation of the fuel used in the DCFC system was conducted, for varying temperature of 100 - 800<sup>o</sup>C. The maximum open circuit voltage (OCV) was 0.71 V. With an applied load resistance and active surface area of 5.73 cm<sup>2 </sup>the maximum power density was 5.50 mWcm<sup>-2 </sup>and the current density was 29.67 mAcm<sup>-2 </sup>at 800<sup>o</sup>C.</p> O. D. Adeniyi B. Ngozichukwu M. I. Adeniyi M. A. Olutoye U. Musa M. A. Ibrahim Copyright (c) 2021-01-31 2021-01-31 61 2 38 44 10.4314/gjs.v61i2.4 Pedo-Transfer Functions for Predicting Total Soil Nitrogen in Different Land Use Types under Some Tropical Environments <p>&nbsp;Nitrogen pedo-transfer functions were developed for different land use types, soil depths and agro-ecologies across eight states in Nigeria. The results showed that total nitrogen had a good relationship with the soil organic carbon; therefore, the functions developed were based on the relationship between organic carbon and total nitrogen as other soil parameters (pH, and particle size distribution) had little contribution and no significant correlation (<em>p&gt;0.05</em>) with total nitrogen. Correlation and forward stepwise regression and Kendall’s Coefficient Concordance were used to fit and validate the developed model with datasets other than those used for the model formulation. The R<sup>2</sup> of the best fitted regression models varied from 0.77 to 0.85. We obtained a generalized fitted model (TN = 0.0736*OC, R<sup>2</sup> = 0.83) which is independent of the agroecology and the land use types. Significant fitted models were also obtained for the arable farms (TN = 0.08*OC, R<sup>2</sup> = 0.85) and the plantation farms (TN = 0.0698*OC, R<sup>2 </sup>= 0.83). It was discovered that variations in agro-ecology, land use, and soil depth did not significantly affect the model performance.</p> S. A. Mesele G. A. Ajiboye Copyright (c) 2021-01-31 2021-01-31 61 2 45 56 10.4314/gjs.v61i2.5 Impact of Microwave Irradiation Energy Levels on Molecular Rotation, Structural, Physicochemical, Proximate and Functional Properties of Potato (<i>Ipomoea batatas</i>) Starch <p>Starch isolated from potato was subjected to microwave treatment at different energy levels (200 - 800 W) to modify the functional, structural and physicochemical properties, as well as induce molecular rotation of the hydroxyl group on the starch polysaccharide. Proximate analyses revealed that moisture content reduced, while ash, protein, fat and fibre increased after modification. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy spectra indicated a strong shift in absorption band of OH from 3441 to 3454 cm<sup>-1</sup>. Optical light microscopy revealed that starch granules were oval and spherical in shape with hyla on some of the granules. Least gelation concentration reduced following microwave treatment. Compared with the native starch, the pasting parameters of the microwave treated starches decreased, with the exception of set­back viscosity for starch modified at 800 W. Onset temperature (T<sub>O</sub>), peak temperature (T<sub>P</sub>) and conclusion temperature (T<sub>C</sub>) of gelatinization increased in microwave treated starches compared with native potato starch. Also, gelatinization enthalpy increased from 8.21 J/g in native starch to 15.39, 16.36, 17.76 and 38.06 J/g in microwave treated starches at 200, 400, 600, and 800 W, respectively. It was concluded that the energy of microwave irradiation can induce and accelerate molecular rotation of the hydroxyl group on the starch polysaccharide.</p> K. N. Awokoya I. E. Odeleye Y. A. Muhammed N. A. Ndukwe A. A. Ibikunle Copyright (c) 2021-01-31 2021-01-31 61 2 57 72 10.4314/gjs.v61i2.6 Sugar Content, pH, and Weight of Four Germplasms of Cashew Apple (<i>Anacardium occidentale</i> Linn.) Fruits Grown Under Two Agro-Ecological Zones in Ghana <p class="Default" style="margin-right: 34.0pt; text-align: justify; line-height: 11.05pt;"><span class="A4"><span style="font-size: 9.0pt;">Changes in climatic conditions are associated with changes in the physicochemical properties of many fruits. Four germplasms of cashew apple originating from Brazil, Tanzania, Ghana (herein referred to as local) and Mozambique but all grown in Ghana were studied to assess the effect of agro-climatic zones on the sugar accumulation, pH, and weight of these cashew apples. Cashew apples were sourced from experimental stations in Bole and Wenchi in the Northern and Savannah regions of Ghana, respectively. A total of 1800 fruits were used for the experiment. Inter and intra significant differences (P &lt; 0.05) were scored amongst ger­mplasms collected from both locations concerning the measured parameters. Sugar ranged between 8.7% - 12.5% with fruits from Bole having the highest sugar content. The pH value ranged from 3.9 (Local germplasm from Bole) – 4.3 (Tanzania germplasm from both loca­tions). The weight ranged between 33 g (Tanzania germplasm from Bole) – 69.8 g (Brazil germplasm from Bole). Meteorological data (from February 2017- April 2018) collected from both locations inf‍luenced the parameters, thus associating with the fruits from both locations. Conclusively, the present study indicated that, weather and geographical locations had an effect on sugar content, pH, and weight of cashew apples. </span></span></p> E. Odame H. Gonu L. Quansah Copyright (c) 2021-01-31 2021-01-31 61 2 73 81 10.4314/gjs.v61i2.7 Effect of Formaldehyde Treatment on Bacteria-Infected Hatching Eggs of <i>Gallus gallus domesticus</i> Linnaeus, 1758 <p>The effectiveness of formaldehyde egg disinfection is well documented in literature despite its reported toxicity. This study focused on the need for an optimum formaldehyde concentration (FC) that significantly reduces microbial load with minimal damaging effect on egg viability and hatchability. Using a true experimental design, bacterial load on formaldehyde-treated (FT) and control groups of eggs and hatchability were compared. Gram-staining and biochemical tests identified five bacterial species: <em>Escherichia coli</em>, <em>Enterobacter </em>sp<em>., Bacillus cereus</em>, <em>Staphylococcus aureus </em>and <em>Micrococcus </em>sp. with the two coliform bacteria, <em>E. coli </em>and <em>Enterobacter </em>sp<em>., </em>dominating. Comparison of median differences of bacterial load on eggs before and after formaldehyde treatment by Wilcoxon Signed-Rank Test showed marginal significance in bacterial load reduction (<em>Z </em>= -2.016, <em>P </em>= 0.044). This difference was observed for bacterial load between the control group (CG) and the FT group with FC 30/20 ml/g (<em>U </em>= 3.0, <em>P </em>= 0.047). The hatchability of the CG differed significantly from four FT groups of eggs with FC 30/20 ml/g showing the highest level of significance [<strong><em>χ² </em></strong>(1) = 14.71; <em>P </em>= 0.0001]. A FC of 30/20 ml/g produced the best domestic fowl egg disinfection compared to other FCs and hatchability decreased with increasing formalin volume.</p> I-L. B. Amoah P. Asiedu C. T. Arthur I. F. Aboagye Copyright (c) 2021-01-31 2021-01-31 61 2 82 90 10.4314/gjs.v61i2.8 Processing and Characterization of Activated Carbon from Coconut Shell and Palm Kernel Shell Waste by H<sub>3</sub>PO<sub>4</sub> Activation <p>Palm kernel shell and coconut shell are used as a precursor for the production of activated carbon, a way of mitigating the tons of waste produced in Ghana. The raw Palm kernel shell and coconut shell were activated chemically using H<sub>3</sub>PO<sub>4</sub>. A maximum activated carbon yield of 26.3 g was obtained for Palm kernel shell and 22.9 g for coconut shell at 400<sup>o</sup>C, an impregnation ratio of 1.2 and 1-hour carbonization time. Scanning electron microscopy reveals well-developed cavities of the H<sub>3</sub>PO<sub>4</sub> activated coconut shell and Palm kernel shell compared to the non-activated carbon. Iodine number of 743.02 mg/g and 682.11 mg/g, a porosity of 0.31 and 0.49 and the electrical conductivity of 2010 μS/cm and 778 μS /cm were obtained for the AC prepared from the coconut shell and Palm kernel shell respectively. The results of this work show that high-quality activated carbon can be manufactured locally from coconut shell and Palm kernel shell waste, and a scale-up of this production will go a long way to reduce the tons of coconut shell and Palm kernel shell waste generated in the country.</p> A. Nyamful E. K. Nyogbe L. Mohammed M. N. Zainudeen S. A. Darkwa I. Phiri M. Mohammed J. M. Ko Copyright (c) 2021-01-31 2021-01-31 61 2 91 104 10.4314/gjs.v61i2.9 Differentiation of Two <i>Pleurotus</i> Species Based on the Restrictive Digestion Profile of the Internal Transcribed Spacer Region <p class="Pa3" style="margin-right: 33.0pt; text-align: justify;"><span class="A3"><span style="font-size: 9.0pt;">Two oyster mushrooms (<em>Pleurotus eous </em>P-31 and <em>P. ostreatus </em>EM-1) are under either cottage industry or semi-commercial cultivation in Ghana. The latter (<em>P. ostreatus</em>) is already well known to the public and on the shelf of some leading supermarkets. There is morphological resemblance between the two species making it difficult for the untrained eye to distinguish between them except for the colour difference. In this study, molecular methods were em­ployed to differentiate among the two species. The Internal Transcribed Spacer ITS 1 and ITS 4 regions of the rDNA of the two oyster species were amplified by the conventional PCR using the universal primer pair, ITS 1 and ITS 4 followed by restrictive digestion with enzymes, (Hh I, Hinf I, Rsa I and Hae III). The two species could not be separated based on the ampli­fied bands only, as both produced a characteristic band size of 650 bp. Gel profiling showing restrictive patterns generated by the four enzymes indicated that only the Hae III restrictive enzyme was effective in separating <em>P. eous </em>P-31 and <em>P. ostreatus </em>EM-1. This is the first record of the separation of the Ghanaian <em>Pleurotus </em>species by molecular methods indicating their genetic differences. </span></span></p> M. Wiafe-Kwagyan G. T. Odamtten M. Obodai Copyright (c) 2021-01-31 2021-01-31 61 2 105 112 10.4314/gjs.v61i2.10 Effect of Gamma Irradiation on Chlorophyll Content in the Cowpea (<i>Vigna unguiculata</i> (L.) Walp) <p>The experiment was conducted to study the mutagenic effect of gamma rays on chlorophyll content at three different physiological stages in the cowpea: pre-flowering, flowering and post-flowering. Five sets of cowpea seeds were subjected to individual doses of gamma rays: 400 Gy, 450 Gy, 500 Gy, 600 Gy and 0 Gy. The seeds were sown to raise the M1 generation. The M<sub>1 </sub>generation seeds were collected and sown in the next season to raise the M2 generation. Leaf chlorophyll content was measured for M<sub>2</sub> generation plants. Mean chlorophyll content for pre-flowering stage ranged between 38.9 ± 8.17 (control) and 64.2 ± 6.16 (400 Gy). Flowering stage mean chlorophyll content ranged from 48.3 ± 14.4 (600 Gy) to 99.4 ± 6.22 (450 Gy). Post-harvest chlorophyll mean content ranged between 13.1&nbsp;±0.98 (600 Gy) and 38.0 ±1.90 (400 Gy). There were significant differences in treatment effects for pre-flowering (P = 0.021), flowering (P = 0.005) and harvest (P = 0.000). At pre-flowering treatment, treatment 400 Gy scored a significant increase of 64 percent (P = 0.02) above the control. The optimum dose for useful induced mutation for increases in chlorophyll concentration in the cowpea was 400 Gy.</p> C. Azigwe P. A. D. Zoryeku I. K. Asante F. Oppong-Adjei Copyright (c) 2021-01-31 2021-01-31 61 2 113 117 10.4314/gjs.v61i2.11 Diversity of Poisonous Plants and their Antidotes, Affecting Ruminant Livestock Production on Rangelands in Ghana <p>The survival of the extensive livestock system, the practice for most farmers in the livestock industry in Ghana depends heavily on the natural pastures as forage resource. To efficiently use the rangelands, knowledge of the species composition, especially that of poisonous plants is essential. Documented knowledge in Ghana is scanty; documentation and dissemination of the knowledge resource would enable a wider access and wider benefit to stakeholders. A study was conducted in Ghana on poisonous plants with the aim to discover the existence and diversity of poisonous plants and associated antidotes affecting livestock for documentation and preservation of knowledge. 70 different items were cited; 22 were poisonous plants for which antidotes were not cited, 28 were poisonous plants with known antidotes and 32 antidotes. There were 575 citations of plants from 194 reported cases of suspected plant poisoning, categorized as poisonous plants for which no antidotes were cited (146), poisonous plants with cited antidotes (147) and antidotes (282). 50 plants species were identified and belonged to 29 plant families. Some plants were known only by local names. There was an extensive knowledge of the diversity of poisonous plants and antidotes within the ecological zones along with possible antidotes.</p> C. Y. F. Domozoro C. C. Wilcock M. D. Swaine A. H. Price Copyright (c) 2021-01-31 2021-01-31 61 2 118 132 10.4314/gjs.v61i2.12 Characterization of the Geophagic Materials and Their Associated Rocks and Soils from Anfoega, Ghana <p>This study was conducted to examine the physico-chemical and mineralogical properties of geophagic materials and their associated rocks and soils from Anfoega, Ghana. The geophagic materials were sampled from pits &gt;10 m deep overlain by massive sandstones and shallow soils which were also sampled. The pH of the geophagic materials was strongly acid. The pH of the soils from the three sites was slightly to moderately acid, that of the fourth site was moderately acid in the surface but strongly acid in the lower layers. While the geophagic materials were enriched with clay, the soil samples contained high amounts of sand. The CEC of the geophagic materials (18.0 to 23.2 cmol<sub>c</sub> kg<sup>-1</sup>) was higher than that of the soils (5.3 to 22.6 cmol<sub>c</sub> kg<sup>-1</sup>). Thin sections of the rocks showed high amounts of quartz and accessory feldspars and sericite. The geophagic materials contained high amounts of clay (with &gt;79% SiO<sub>2</sub>), quartz, feldspars and sericite. X-ray diffractograms of the geophagic materials, rocks and soils were dominated by quartz, kaolinite, muscovite and feldspars. The sialic minerals in the geophagic materials (shales) were probably leached from the overlying sandstones. The mineralogy of the soils indicated that they were formed in-situ from the underlying sandstones.</p> J. K. Badu P. M. Nude D. E. Dodor E. K. Nartey T. A. Adjadeh Copyright (c) 2021-03-18 2021-03-18 61 2 133 155 10.4314/gjs.v61i2.13