BOTANICAL CONTROL OF PATHOGENIC FUNGI ASSOCIATED WITH CASSAVA CHIPS IN UMUAHIA MARKETS, SOUTH EAST, NIGERIA
Laboratory experiment was carried out in the College of Crop and Soil sciences, Michael Opkara University of
Agriculture, Umudike to determine the level of contamination of dry Cassava chips from local markets in
Umuahia metropolis. Potato Dextrose Agar was used to isolate the fungi involved in the contamination of chips.
Through serial dilution, plating the frequency of occurrence of the major fungi was obtained. Fungi which
include: Aspergillus niger, Fusarium solani, Aspergillus flavus, Aspergillus fumigatum, Rhizopus stolonifer and
Penicillium digitatum were observed and 80% frequency of occurrence recorded. Three fungi: Aspergillus niger,
Rhizopus stolonifer and Penicillium digitatum were the most consistently recorded in the three markets sampled.
The least recorded was Penicillium digitatum at 49.36%. The average total fungal counts were 26.2 x 105
(Aspergillus niger); 12.0 x 105 (Rhizopus stolonifer) and 19.2 x105cfu/g (Penicillium digitatum). Aqueous
extracts of Newbouldia laevis gave the highest inhibitory effect (91.067%), on Aspregillus niger. The inhibitory
effect of Newbouldia laevis was significantly (p<0.05) higher than that of Vitex doniana. Newbouldia laevis
demonstrated antifungal potential on cassava chips spoilage causing fungi and can be recommended for use as
natural fungicide on cassava chips in storage.