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The mycological profile of decayed wood cuttings sourced from a saw mill located at Uwasota Road, Benin City was investigated using serial dilution and pour plate techniques. The mean fungal counts ranged from 0.9 ×106 cfu/g to 2.7 ×106 cfu/g respectively. Four fungal species were identified; Aspergillus niger, Aspergillus fumigatus, Mucor mucedo and Penicillium chrysogenum. P. chrysogenum (97%) was the most prevalent isolate while A. fumigatus (70%) was the least occurring isolate. P. chrysogenum exhibited the highest cellulolytic potential amongst the fungal isolates while M. mucedo had the least cellulolytic activity during the screening test. P. chrysogenum had the maximal frequency of appearance (97%) amongst the fungal isolates. The protein content of the labelled cell free supernatants ranged from 0.07 mg/ml to 0.34 mg/ml. The released glucose values of the respective labelled cell free supernatants varied from 0.08 mg/ml to 0.86 mg/ml. The recorded cellulase activity of the labelled cell free extracts ranged from 19.05 μg glucose (mg protein) -1 min -1 to 64.71 μg glucose (mg protein) -1 min -1. P. chrysogenum exhibited the maximal cellulosic activity amongst the isolates studied.
Keywords: decayed wood cuttings; cellulolytic potential; cellulase activity; cell free supernatant