Evaluation of Competitive Saprophytic Potentials of Microbial Isolates from Some Woods exposed to Indoor and Outdoor Atmospheric Conditions in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State
Wood deterioration is one of the major effects of heavy economic losses. The rate of deterioration of woods stored or piled for sales are widely studied and well known, the agent responsible for decay of woods in suspended or common roofing conditions has not been extensively studied. This study evaluated the microbial-deteriorating agents that may plausibly influence the strength of woods commonly sold in Uyo timber markets and the effects on the wood when used in roofing. Using standard aerobic culture techniques and analytical procedures, the microbial bio-deterioration agents of woods and their saprophytic potentials were investigated. The result revealed that microorganisms are commonly deposited on Gmelina, Obeche and Iroko wood samples exposed in suspended atmospheric conditions. The microbial isolates were comprised of six fungal and seven bacterial species. The fungal community and their percentage occurrences were as follows: Monillia (30.0%), Aspergillus fumigates (16.7%), Aspergillus niger (73.3%), Rhizopus stolonifera (50.0%), Candida utilis (20.0%) and Mucor (56.7%) species, while the bacterial community comprised of Staphylococcus albus (20.0%), Bacillus subtilis (80.0%), Streptococcus (3.33%), Staphylococcus aureus (10.0%), Micrococcus (3.33%), Bacillus cereus (80.0%) and Streptomyces (46.7%) species. The microbial isolates exhibited a weak competitive saprophytic potential under their conditions of exposure. The research findings have shown that though the associated micro-organisms possessed a weak enzymatic potential, the fungal components which exhibited a better hydrolytic enzymes potential may grow and produce pigments that may reduce the quality of woods. It is therefore, recommended that proper treatment with wood preservatives be employed to enhance the usage, life and quality of woods used in suspended platforms.
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