Associated microbial contaminants in in-vitro micropropagation of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas l)
Studies were carried out to determine the microbial contaminants associated with in-vitro micropropagation of Ipomea batatas (sweet potato). The contaminants were found to be mostly fungal organisms, Aspergillus Spp (62%), Penicillum Spp. (31%), Fusarium Spp. (5%) and Alternaria Spp.
(2%). Bacterial contamination was insignificant compared to the fungal population. Aspergillus Spp were the dominant contaminants affecting this crop in vitro. Stunted growth, chlorosis and necrosis of the leaves as well as death of propagules were some of the effects of the contaminants on the performance of the plant in vitro. Minimal conditions for managing the plant in vitro to eliminate contaminations were also suggested. The implications of these findings in the production of disease free propagules of Ipomea batatas were discussed.
Keywords: Ipomoea batatas, sweet potato, micro-propagation, microbial contaminants, fungi