Nigerian Journal of Biotechnology <p><em>Nigerian Journal of Biotechnology</em> is a publisher of multidisciplinary peer-reviews original research works and critical reviews on interdisciplinary studies in Biotechnology, Agriculture, Food and Environment interface; and is published twice a year. It serves scientists in the field of Agriculture, Food science and Technology; Animal science, Agriculture Economy and Extension, Fisheries and Aquiculture, Biotechnology, Breeding and Veterinarians.&nbsp;</p> <p>Other websites associated with this journal: <a title="" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener"></a></p> en-US <p align="center">Copyright resides with the authors in terms of the Creative Commons License 4.0.</p><p align="center">See <a href=""></a></p><p align="center">Condition of use: The user may copy, distribute, transmit and adapt the work, but must recognize the authors and the Nigerian Journal of Biotechnology</p> (Dr. Abdulrazak Ibrahim) (Dr. Christpeace N. Ezebuiro) Wed, 28 Jul 2021 12:25:51 +0000 OJS 60 Antimicrobial Efficacy of <i>Vitellaria paradoxa</i> fractions and compounds on some wood Fungi and Bacteria <p>This study examined antifungal efficacy of <em>Vitellaria paradoxa</em> fractions and compounds in the control of some wood degrading fungi. Stem bark and heartwood parts of <em>Vitellaria paradoxa</em> were collected, dried, pulverised and macerated sequentially in n- hexane, methanol and ethyl acetate solvents. The mixtures were filtered, evaporated and the dried samples were mixed and run over silica gel in column chromatography with a mixture of n -hexane and ethyl acetate solvents to obtain fractions. The fractions collected were evaporated and those with white needles were subjected to Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopic analysis. Spinasterol was isolated and characterised from the heartwood fraction while the stem bark fractions were fatty. <em>Vitellaria paradoxa</em> fractions were active against <em>Serpula lacrymans, Sclerotium rolfsii, Aspergillus fumigatus, Fomitopsis pinicoca, Phaeolus schweinitzii, Rhizopus sp., Coniophora puteana, Gloeophyllum sepiarium, </em>and <em>Fibroporia vaillantii</em> at zones of inhibition (ZOI) of 18 mm - 24 mm. Although the antibiotics were active (25 – 31 mm), they were found inactive against the Fomitopsis pinicoca fungus which was sensitive to all the V. paradoxa fractions at zones of inhibition of 18 - 24 mm. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MIC) of the <em>V. paradoxa</em> fractions were active at 50 μg/mL against all test fungi. At minimum fungicidal concentration (MFC) of between 50 - 200 μg/mL, all the test fungi were killed. Based on the ZOI, MIC and MFC, the <em>V. paradoxa</em> stem bark heartwood fractions have been proven to be very efficient in inhibiting the growth of test wood rot fungi; hence the species could be explored as a potential source of bioactive fungicides.</p> D.O. Ekhuemelo, J.V. Anyam, C. Ekhuemelo Copyright (c) Tue, 27 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Nutrient digestibility, visceral organ changes and carcass yield of rabbits fed with diets containing graded levels of rumen filtrate-fermented rice offal <p>A total of twenty-five crossbred rabbit bucks with a mean weight of 628.73g were utilized to investigate their nutrient digestibility, visceral organ changes, and carcass yield when fed with diets containing graded levels of rumen filtrate-fermented rice offal (FRO) for 10 weeks. Five rabbits were grouped into five treatments with each rabbit serving as a replicate in a completely randomized design experiment. The control group was fed with a diet containing no rumen filtrate fermented-rice offal meal while the other four groups were fed with diets in which the FRO replaced the maize at 5%, 10%, 15%, and 20%, respectively. The results of the analyzed nutrient composition and energy content of the experimental diets showed no trend across the treatments except for crude protein and metabolizable energy whose values appeared to increase across treatments as the levels of FRO increased from 0% to 20%. Dry Matter (DM), Crude Fiber (CF), Ether Extract (EE) and Nitrogen Free Extract (NFE) digestibility values were affected by the inclusion level of the fermented rice offal in the diets of the rabbits, except Crude Protein (CP). Crude fiber values appeared to increase across the treatments as the levels of FRO increased from 0% to 20%. Dressed weight showed significantly (p&lt;0.05) higher values for rabbits fed with diets containing 20% FRO and prime cuts were significantly (p&lt;0.05) influenced by treatments. The result of visceral organ and GIT weights showed treatment effect (p&lt;0.05), except fasted live weights, spleen, and visceral fats. Of the visceral organ lengths, only the esophagus and stomach were similar (p&gt;0.05) across treatment groups. It was therefore concluded that the digestibility of nutrients was not adversely affected; such that 20% inclusion of rumen filtrate-fermented rice offal showed no modification on visceral organ changes and a better carcass yield observed in rabbits on the diets. It was suggested that up to 20% rumen filtrate-fermented rice offal meal can be integrated into rabbit diets without impairing their digestibility, visceral organ characteristics, and carcass yield.</p> A.T. Kpehe, C.D. Tuleun, F.G. Kaankuka Copyright (c) Tue, 27 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Exploring the potentials of microalgae as an alternative source of renewable energy <p>The world’s energy needs highly depend on fossil fuels, which were formed over several million centuries. The price of petroleum increases daily and unfortunately, its exploitation is currently at an alarming rate for such essential non-renewable energy. Also, the recent clamour for safe and cheap alternative means of energy generation to mitigate global warming and its detrimental effects is drawing attention towards biofuel production to supplement and possibly, substitute fossil fuels. To this effect, many plant materials have been tested and employed in the past decades for biofuel production. However, a good number of plants used in biofuel production as feedstock are crop plants, which have more economic value as food. Therefore, it is imperative to explore the possibility of biofuel production from non-food sources, hence, we examine the potential of microalgae as an alternative source of renewable energy. Microalgae are of great interest in biofuel production for its high productivity, cosmopolitan nature, easy culturing on waters and land, and noncompeting with conventional agriculture for resources. In view of these, this article focuses on the potentials of microalgae in biofuel production and mitigation of environmental pollution by its considerably low greenhouse gas emissions.<br><br></p> P.A. Adedibu , D.A. Animasaun, G.G. Joseph Copyright (c) Tue, 27 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Assessment of Genetic Diversity in Bambara Groundnut (<i>Vigna subterranea</i>) Landraces Based on Seed Storage Proteins Electrophoretic Pattern <p>Bambara groundnut (<em>Vigna subterranea</em>) is a leguminous crop that is considered underutilized and has previously received little research attention. Variability in a number of physiological factors, including germination rate, widely affects its production. Seed storage protein, its fractions and protein profile of six Bambara groundnut local landraces were studied to assess their genetic relatedness. Total seed storage protein and its fractions were estimated by Bradford’s method. SDS-PAGE analysis was used to evaluate storage protein profile. The results showed significant differences (p&lt;0.05) in protein contents among the landraces. The major seed storage proteins were found to be globulins (0.048 to 0.088mg/mL ), albumins (0.023 to 0.038mg/mL ), glutelins (0.007 to 0.013mg/mL ) and prolamins (0.002 to 0.004mg/mL ). Five peptide bands were detected with molecular weights corresponding to 97.4 kDa, 45 kDa, 29 kDa, 20.1 kDa and 18 kDa, respectively. Three peptide bands corresponding to 97.4 kDa, 45 kDa and 18 kDa were detected in all the landraces and two peptide bands between 29 kDa and 20.1 kDa were detected in five landraces. Dendrogram generated by UPGMA grouped the six landraces into one major cluster with two sub-clusters. The observed diversity in storage protein pattern of the landraces indicated their potential as materials for crop improvement.</p> N.M. Saminu, B.G. Kurfi, Y.Y. Muhammad Copyright (c) Tue, 27 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Comparative Study on the Natural and Synthetic Hormones of<i>Clarias gariepinus</i> Broodstock <p>The study was carried out for six (6) weeks at the Department of Fisheries Teaching and Research farm, Modibbo Adama University, Yola, to compare the reproductive performance of Clarias gariepinus using synthetic (ovaprim) and natural (C. gariepinus pituitary extract) hormones . At the end of the feeding trial, the fecundity, percentage fertilization, hatchability, and survival rates of the hatchlings were estimated using standard procedure. The hatchlings were further raised for six weeks and the increase in weight was determined. The results showed that female broodstock injected with C. gariepinus pituitary extract (CgPE) had a higher fecundity (124,000) while the female injected with Ovaprim had 65,000 eggs. The weight of the testes significantly differed (p&lt;0.05) across the treatments, the right lobe weighed 1.63g while the left lobe weighed 1.98g . Subsequently, a higher fertilization rate was recorded in CgPE (91.1%) while Ovaprim had 85.55% . However, Ovaprim had a higher percentage hatchability of 82.93% while CgPE had 82.73% . At the end of the six (6) weeks feeding period, the survival rate was higher in the fish treated with CgPE (82.31%) while the fish injected with Ovaprim had 79.68% . The research exposed the efficacy of using CgPE in the absence of synthetic hormone, CgPE is a preferred substitute that Hatchery managers can utilize for fingerlings production.</p> L.U. Onyia, H.D. Ali , H.A. Bello, E.C. Onyia, M. Musa Copyright (c) Wed, 28 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Effect of Wrapping Materials on the Microbial Quality of some Street Vended Ready- to - Eat Rice <p>In many parts of Africa especially in Nigeria, ready-to-eat rice is commonly sold in several locations within the big cities and villages. In this study, one hundred samples of ready-to-eat rice were analyzed in some selected areas in Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria. The effects of wrapping materials on the microbial quality of the rice samples were determined from seven different locations. The total bacterial counts ranged from 5.66 to 7.30 log10 cfu/g ,total coliform counts ranged from 5.07 to 7.33 log10 cfu/g and total fungal counts ranged from 5.19 to 6.03 log10 cfu/g. The b acterial species isolated from these samples were <em>Bacillus subtilis, Klebsiella pneumonia </em>and<em> Staphylococcus aureus</em> while the fungal species isolated include <em>Aspergillus fumigatus, Mucor spp.,</em> and<em> Penicillium sp</em>. Factors such as improper storage as well as handling of the wrapping-materials of the food coupled with the attitude and practices of the vendors are likely to be responsible for the growth of these microorganisms. It was also discovered that improper cooking may contribute to microbial growth. Provision and enforcement of strict hygienic practices would go a long way in improving the quality of the ready-to-eat foods.<br><br></p> C.O. Ojesola, O.R. Afolabi, A.R. Oloyede Copyright (c) Tue, 27 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Effects of cowpea (<i>Vigna unguiculata</i> L. Walp.) as a Live mulch on weed management in maize cropping <p>Weed interference is a major constraint in maize cultivation. Living mulch as an alternative weed control strategy has been established to be environmentally safe but has not been widely used in maize cultivation. The aim of this research was to evaluate the weed management attributes of Vigna unguiculata in maize cropping. A field study was carried out in the crop garden of the Department of Crop Protection and Environmental Biology, University of Ibadan, Nigeria. The treatments were maize interplanted with Cowpea at 20,000 (M1), 30,000 (M2), 40,000 (M3) plants/hectare, hoe weeding (M4), weedy check (M5) and Primextra-2.5 L/ha (M6). The treatments were arranged in randomized complete block design, each replicated four times. Weed Dry Weight (WDW) and Weed Control Efficiency–WCE (%) were calculated following standardized methods. Data were analysed using descriptive statistics and ANOVA at α0.05. The treatment plots were dominated by weed species in the Asteraceae, Fabaceae and Poaceae families. The M5 accounted for the highest WDW (126.30 g). The WCE was highest in M3 (94.8%) and least in M5 (66.4%). Maize and cowpea interplant at 40,000 plants/hectare suppressed weed. Hence, cowpea is an ideal weed suppressant and can be inter-planted as a cover crop in maize cropping systems.<br><br></p> A.I. Woghiren, R. O., Awodoyin, C.I. Antiabong, E.N. Ngonadi, O.R. Jeminiwa, S.O. Olaoti-Laaro Copyright (c) Tue, 27 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Isolation Of Mycotoxi genic Fungi And Quantification Of Aflatoxins From Bean Flours Sold In Abeokuta Nigeria <p>The recent increase in consumers’ preference for commercially sold bean flour necessitated the need to determine associated mycoflora and quantify the toxin production by the isolates, since several fungal genera have been associated with bean grains. Four fungal genera were isolated from fifteen beans flour samples sourced from various markets in Abeokuta by serial dilutions and pour plates methods on Potato Dextrose Agar (PDA) plates. Distinct colonies were transferred to Methyl Red Dessicated Coconut Agar (MRDCA) plates to identify toxin- producing isolates and High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) was used for aflatoxin quantification from the bean flour samples. The isolated fungal genera were, Aspergillus (60%), Fusarium (10%), Rhizopus (15%) and Mucor (5%). Nine of the fifteen samples were found positive for aflatoxigenic organisms and also produced aflatoxins that ranged from 0.006 to 0.151 ng/kg. The presence of toxin- producing organisms in the bean flour which is above the acceptable standard is a red flag that must be addressed vigorously if public health is a priority.</p> A.O. Badmos, S. Olonode, E.O. Oni , T.M. Adeleye Copyright (c) Tue, 27 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Amylase-Producing Fungi and Bacteria Associated with Some Food Processing Wastes <p>Amylases are enzymes that catalyze the hydrolysis of glycosidic bonds present in starch to release simple sugars. They are one of the most important enzymes in numerous commercial processes. In this investigation, fungal and bacterial strains from the following agro-industrial wastes were isolated and screened for amylolytic ability: soil from oil palm plantation, shea seed, date fruit, coconut meat, cassava effluent, cassava peel, cassava tubers, yam and potato tubers, starch medium, parboiled water from noodles and rice. The results revealed the presence of <em>Geotrichum, Aspergillus, Penicillium, Trichoderma, Rhizopus </em>and<em> Fusarium spp.</em> Five major genera of bacterial species namely <em>Corynebacterium, Pseudomonas, Lactobacillus, Micrococcus </em>and<em> Bacillus</em> were isolated and screened for amylase activity. Cassava soil had the highest heterotrophic bacterial count of 5.7 x10<sup>5</sup>cfu/g and coconut meat waste had the lowest heterotrophic bacterial count of 1.3 x10<sup>5</sup>cfu/g. All isolated microorganisms had the amylolytic ability. The fungal isolates had higher amylase activity when compared with the bacterial isolates. This investigation reveals organisms with high amylase activity.</p> T. Okunwaye, P.O. Uadia, B.O. Okogbenin, E.A. Okogbenin, D.C. Onyia, J.U. Obibuzor Copyright (c) Tue, 27 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Haematological Indices and Carcass Composition of African Catfish <i>Clarias gariepinus</i> (Burchell, 1822) Fingerlings Fed with Fluted Pumpkin Leaf (<i>Telfairia Occidentalis</i>) as Feed Additives <p>A feeding trial was carried out for 56 days to ascertain the effects of <em>Telfairia occidentalis</em> (fluted pumpkin) as a feed additive on the haematological profile and nutrients value of <em>Clarias gariepinus</em> carcass. <em>C. gariepinus</em> fingerlings (mean body weight 9.6g) were randomly distributed in plastic bowls at nine fish per bowl in triplicates. Five diets designated as D1 to D5 with 40% crude protein containing 0, 50, 100, 150, and 200g/kg of <em>T. occidentalis</em> leaf powder were fed to <em>C. gariepinus</em> fingerlings at 5% body weight per day. The results showed that <em>T. occidentalis</em> additive significantly (P≤0.05) improved the haematological parameters of the fish. The mean value of white blood cells (WBC) count (μL) in the diets fed with <em>T. occidentalis</em> were significantly higher (D2-D5 : 870.20, 864.80, 840.30, 876.40, respectively) than the diet without <em>T. occidentalis</em> (D1 783.15). A similar trend was observed in PCV, MCV, MCHC, MCH, and platelets. However, HB D1 (control) had higher values than the diet containing <em>T. occidentalis.</em> Meanwhile, in carcass quality, there was an increase in the crude protein of all the fish but the group that consumed <em>T. occidentalis</em> had a higher carcass crude protein and lower lipid, while the control had a higher lipid value. Meanwhile, the initial values obtained before the feeding trials had lower crude protein and higher lipid value when compared with the fish that was fed with the experimental diet. In conclusion, <em>T. occidentalis</em> leaf meal can be utilized to improve the haematological&nbsp; parameters of the fish, with an increase in the WBC there is a high possibility of the fish to withstand pathogenic attacks because Blood is a major parameter that determines the physiological, immune , and nutritional status of an organism, also WBC are important blood&nbsp; constituents for defense against diseases, pathogens and unwanted foreign bodies in an organism.</p> I.J. Ochokwu, M.A. Taiwo, S.Y. Bashir Copyright (c) Tue, 27 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Antioxidant Potential of Crude Powder, Methanol and Aqueous Extracts of Fonio Millet (<i>Digitaria exilis</i>) Grains <p>This study evaluated the antioxidant potential along with total phenolic content, total flavonoid content of the crude powder, methanol and aqueous extracts of Digitaria exilis grains. The antioxidant activities of the crude powder and extracts were determined by measuring the reducing ability and hydrogen peroxide scavenging activity. The results showed that methanol extracts exhibited the highest total phenolic content (57.96 ± 6.84 mg gallic acid equivalence/g dried weight) and total flavonoid content (38.75 ± 9.76 mg quercetin equivalence/g dried weight) compared to the crude powder and aqueous extracts. A concentration- dependent increase in the reducing ability and hydrogen peroxide scavenging activity was observed in all the samples. The results were comparable to ascorbic acid, the standard antioxidant used. These results indicate that <em>Digitaria exilis</em> grains have antioxidant activity and may account for the use of the grains in traditional systems of medicine.<br><br></p> G.O. Omaji, M. Osibemhe, B.O. Orji, L.E. Ilouno, B.O. Abdulrahman, A.O. Ajadi Copyright (c) Tue, 27 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Formulation and nutritional evaluation of a complementary food blend made from fermented yellow maize (Improved variety), soybean and African cat fish meal <p>Fermented cereal-based gruels with poor nutritional value form a major component of the diet of infants during the transition phase of childhood. With the recent security challenges affecting people in the north- east region of Nigeria, food security is at stake, malnutrition is common among infants and young children while reliance on UNICEF for supplies of ready- to- use therapeutic foods is not a long-term solution. A complementary food blend was prepared following the guideline of WHO/FAO on infants’ nutritional requirements in a 60:20:20 ratio from fermented yellow maize (improved variety), roasted soybean and fishmeal respectively. All the sample materials were pre-processed by either fermentation, drying or roasting prior to food blend formulation. Standard methods (AOAC) were used to evaluate the nutritional values of the raw and processed materials and the formulated complementary food blend. Water absorption capacity of the fermented yellow maize significantly decreased (P&lt; 0.05) with decrease in pH and increase in titratable acidity from 20% - 51% (0 – 72h). The carbohydrate (64.35±0.03%) and protein contents (14.55±0.03% and energy value (351.64±0.03 Kcal/100g) of the complementary food blend was closely comparable to the commercial complementary food blend cerelac® (Carbohydrate 69.00%, Protein 15.0%, and energy 426.00 Kcal/100g) and satisfied the needs of infants. The low moisture content (3.1±0.02%) exhibited by the complementary food blend might give a good storage stability. The iron level of the complementary food blend (40.33± 0.03%) was higher than that of the commercial complementary food blend celerac® (10.0%), though the levels of potassium, zinc and calcium were lower. Microbial analysis showed no contamination with pathogenic organisms in the formulated food blend. The formulated complementary food blend met the WHO estimated requirements of infant 6 – 23 months in terms of nutritional quality and may therefore be a good substitute to the imported, expensive alternatives.</p> Z.K. Mohammed, B.B. Petrol, U. Ahmad Copyright (c) Wed, 28 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Morphological diversity in growth characteristics of <i>Jatropha curcas</i> l. accessions from South- West Nigeria <p><em>Jatropha curcas</em> is a multi-purpose tree with significant economic importance that has not been fully exploited due to lack of adequate breeding programme in Nigeria. Consequently upon this, 31 accessions collected from 4 states in Southwestern Nigeria were assessed for their morphological diversity in order to establish this as a bed rock for further breeding programmes. Data were collected on plant height, numbers of leaves and collar diameter; these were subjected to analysis of variance, principal component analysis and cluster analysis using Minitab version 17. The results showed significant differences (p≤0.05) among the 31 accessions assessed. Principal component analysis indicated that the first three axes contributed 97.8% of the total variation observed. The first axis accounted for 68% of the total variation while the second and third axes accounted for 24.7% and 5.1%, respectively, of the total variation recorded. Cluster analysis as well as the dendrogram revealed three distinct clusters of genetic similarities and differences. High genetic similarities were observed among accessions collected from the different states whereas some accessions collected from similar regions had low genetic similarities. Cluster 1 consisted of 21 genotypes with their characters falli ng below the grand mean. Cluster 2 had nine genotypes, they produced the highest values for all the characters assessed. Cluster 3 with only one genotype has its values below the ground mean. Members of cluster 2 have proven to be superior. The existence of morphological diversity offers potential for selection among the accessions in the breeding of <em>J. curcas</em> from southwestern Nigeria.</p> G.A. Adebusuyi, O.F. Oyedeji, V.I. Alaje , I.L. Sowunmi , Y.A. Dunmade Copyright (c) Wed, 28 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Organoleptic properties and shelf-lives of differently dried fowl eggs <p>Poultry eggs are perishable, hence could lose their quality rapidly between storage and consumption. Maintaining fresh quality is a major problem which is aggravated by temperature, humidity, storage method and time. Several methods of altering these environmental conditions to prolong the shelf-life of the eggs have been reported, yet little is known about kiln, solar and oven methods of drying boiled fowl eggs. This study was targeted at creating awareness, evaluating the organoleptic properties and determining the shelf-life of kiln-, solar- and oven-dried fowl eggs, stored under different environmental conditions. A total of 160 Isa brown freshly laid eggs were obtained and weighed, and were divided into four different groups of 40 eggs each, designated as control, kiln-, solar- and oven-dried. The eggs were boiled for 30 minutes and dried at 100 – 120oC overnight (kiln dried), 45 – 50oC for 5 days (solar dried) and 100oC for 24 hours (oven dried), but those in the control group were not dried. Panelists were used in obtaining information on awareness of fowl eggs drying/drying methods and organoleptic evaluation. Twenty-seven eggs each from the control, kiln-, solar- and oven-dried groups were kept in locally fabricated egg packs and stored for 30 days in a sales outlet, deep freezer and kitchen for shelf-life determination. Results showed that egg weight loss was highest (52.3%) in the kiln-dried, followed by oven-dried (38.9%), solar-dried (27.4%) and control (20.6%) groups. All the panelists (100%) were aware of the different forms of storing boiled fowl eggs and have eaten fowl eggs in different forms, but none (0.0%) was aware of kiln, solar and oven method of drying fowl eggs, or has eaten kiln-, solar- and oven-dried fowl eggs before then. Some of the panelists liked the appearance, taste, aroma, mouth feel, after-taste and overall acceptability of the dried eggs. All (100%) of the eggs in the sales outlet spoilt, but none (0.0%) among the dried eggs stored in the deep freezer was spoilt. In the kitchen, all the control eggs (100%), 22.2% (kiln dried), 88.9% (solar dried) and 66.7% (oven dried) spoilt. Kiln- and oven-dried eggs had more water loss, apparently implying better effectiveness of the drying methods. Therefore, fowl eggs could be boiled, dried and refrigerated to elongate their shelf-lives.</p> K.O. Idahor Copyright (c) Wed, 28 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 The role of biosensors and biological weapons in national defence and security operations <p>The knowledge of biotechnology plays an important role in the development of biological weapons. Biological weapons are considered an attractive factor in war for several reasons: ease of manufacture, low cost, confirmed injury, increased number of victims, large losses incurred by other countries. Biological weapons detection methods are among the most important means of military defense. Biological sensors are used in early detection of weapons. Biotechnology is of paramount importance in all fields of medicine, engineering, agriculture, industry, as well as military life. The key applications of biotechnology in the military are in the areas of sensor systems and systems for protection from espionage. Among the most important countries that have applied knowledge of bioweapons technology into their security system are the USA and China. Despite the enormous advantages of biotechnology, it has negative effects in biological weapon production. Therefore, the near future will witness a tremendous boom in biotechnology. DNA profiling also plays an important role in detection of crime. The overall aim of the review is to emphasize the importance of biotechnology towards solving bioterrorism and other forms of security challenges in an environment.</p> U. Yahaya, M. Akram, R.I. Abdullahi, B.O. Adaaja, G. Otiwa, B.O. Odey Copyright (c) Wed, 28 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Mushroom-mediated delignification of agricultural wastes for bio-ethanol production <p>Biological pretreatment is a cost-effective method of delignifying lignocellulosic biomass, making it less recalcitrant to hydrolysis into fermentable sugars. In this study, selected agricultural wastes were pretreated with mushrooms (<em>Lentinus squarrosulus </em>and<em> Pleurotus ostreatus</em>) to delignify them for bioethanol production. The substrates were supplemented with 0.2 % CaCO<sub>3</sub>, inoculated with 12 % (w/w) <em>L. squarrosulus</em> and <em>Pleurotus ostreatus</em> spawns and incubated at 25 <sup>o</sup>C for 21 days. The highest lignin removal and highest bioethanol yield of 77.45 % and 13.98 % were obtained from bean husks pretreated with<em> L. squarrosulus</em>. Similarly, 64.29 % and 60.92 % lignin were removed from the Pleurotus ostreatus-pretreated banana leaves and sawdust, respectively, while 12.08 % and 13.05 % bio-ethanol yields were recorded, respectively. These findings demonstrate that affordable and straightforward mushroom delignification of abundant and cheap biomass can improve hydrolysis outcomes, thus easing bioethanol production.</p> A. Ahmed El-Imam, P. Akoh, S. Saliman, E. Ighalo Copyright (c) Wed, 28 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Effect of Aqueous Leaf Extract of <i>Jatropha tanjorensis</i> on parasitaemia and haematological parameters in mice infected with <I>Plasmodium ber ghei</I> <p>Medicinal plants are proven sources of many useful drugs in our modern world. Jatropha tanjorensis, known as hospital too far, is consumed highly in Africa as herbal medicine. This research work was done to evaluate the effect of aqueous leaf extract of<em> Jatropha tanjorensis</em> on parasitaemia and haematological parameters in mice infected with Plasmodium ber ghei. The leaves of<em> J. tanjorensis</em> were extracted with distilled water and qualitative phytochemical analysis carried out. Acute toxicity studies were carried out using the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) guideline. The curative activity of the extract was examined using Rane’s test. A total of forty (40) mice were used for the study and they were infected with <em>Plasmodium berghei</em>. The infected mice were subdivided into five groups of six mice each and treated with different doses of standard drug (artemether/lumefantrine 25mg/kg) and extract (200, 400 and 800mg/kg body weight) for 4 days. After treatment, blood was collected and used for percentage parasitaemia, packed cell volume and hemoglobin concentration. The result of phytochemical analysis revealed the presence of alkaloids, tannins, saponins, flavonoids, terpe noids, cardiac glycosides and anthra quinones. The result of the acute toxicity showed the signs of neither neurological, behavioral nor mortality at concentrations of 2,000 and 5,000 mg/kg oral doses within the first 24 hours and during the 14 days study period. A dose- dependent increase was observed in Total haemoglobin (Hb) and Packed cell volume (PCV) levels which was collaborated with increase in weight as compared with negative control. The leaf extract of <em>J. tanjorensis</em> also revealed a significant (p&lt;0.05) suppression activity and mean survival time at the doses of 400 mg/kg, 200 mg/kg and 100 mg/kg when compared with the negative control. The extract of <em>Jatropha tanjorensis</em> showed reasonable levels of anti-anaemia and antimalarial activities with no signs of acute toxicity.&nbsp; Therefore this study may support its use as an anti-prophylactic and blood tonic nutraceutical.</p> L.N. Ebenyi, K.A. Yongabi, F.U. Ali, M.C. Ominyi, C.B. Anyanwu, E. Benjamin, M.E. Ogbanshi Copyright (c) Wed, 28 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Enrichment of captive environment for effective animal reproduction <p>Animals are kept in captivity for the purpose of recreation, experimentation, rearing, reproduction,&nbsp; conservation, research etc. This study reviews how adequate welfare must be provided for the animals in captivity so that they will be able to perform to their maximum&nbsp; capabilities. It is imperative that the animals should not suffer because of the conditions they have been subjected to. The captive&nbsp; environment must be adequately enriched to foster effective reproduction that will sustain the population of the endangered species. This review has identified some of the problems faced by the captive animals and how to minimize these challenges. It is mandatory that before any animal is confined, adequate provision for its welfare must be provided to reduce any form of physiological or psychological stress.</p> O.O. Oyeleye Copyright (c) Wed, 28 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Isolation and Identification of Phenol-Degrading Bacteria from Oil-Contaminated Sites <p>This work is aimed at isolating and identifying phenol-degrading bacteria from oil-contaminated sites. Five soil samples from three auto-mechanic workshops within Katsina metropolis were collected. The samples were analyzed by selective enrichment technique, which resulted in the isolation of four bacterial species. The species were further subjected to the Vitek 2 compact microbiological system analysis. <em>Cupriavidus pauculus, Pontoea spp, Proteus mirabilis 1 </em>and<em> Proteus mirabilis</em> 2 were identified. Result from the present study showed that the bacteria could utilize phenol as their carbon source. Proteus mirabilis 1 and Proteus mirabilis 2 showed lower phenol degradation potential, under similar conditions. <em>Cupriavidus pauculus </em>and<em> Pontoea sp.</em> showed significant increases (p&lt;0.05) in their optical densities. The optical density increment is strongly correlated with increase in colony forming units of the bacteria. This study further showed that the isolates could tolerate high phenol concentrations and may serve as strong putative isolates in bioremediation of phenol-contaminated sites.</p> Z.M. Usman, M.A. Said, F.A. Shehu, K. Abdussalam, T.M. Abdulrazak, N. Abdullahi Copyright (c) Wed, 28 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Effects of Environmental factors on the Growth and Proliferation of Yeasts <p>Yeast is one of the organisms that grow and survive in diverse conditions. The influence of environmental factors on its growth and proliferation were evaluated. The yeast used for the study was isolated from honey using Sabouraud Dextrose Agar and pour plate methods. The effects of temperature, pH and ultraviolet radiation on the growth of <em>Rhodotorula, Debaryomyces, Zygosaccharomyces </em>and<em> Candida species</em> were determined using standard methods. The growths of all the yeast isolates were greatly affected at 80<sup>o</sup>C.&nbsp; <em>Rhodotorulla</em> species showed least growth at 50<sup>o</sup>C, but optimal growth was recorded at 30<sup>o</sup>C after 96 h of incubation. A similar trend was observed in Debaromyces species. Zygosaccharomyces species recorded high reduction in growth at 60<sup>o</sup>C after 96 h of incubation, though there were no significant differences in the growths of the isolates at 60<sup>o</sup>C and 80<sup>o</sup>C. Candida species recorded the least effect of temperature at 30<sup>o</sup>C and highest at 60<sup>o</sup>C and 80<sup>o</sup>C after 96 h of incubation. The results of the effect of pH on growth of the yeasts showed that&nbsp; Rhodotorula and Zygosaccharomyces had optimum growth at pH of 5 and 4 respectively. All the isolates showed increase in growth with increase in incubation time. Exposure of the isolates to UV-rays negatively affected the growths of the isolates. The growths of the yeasts decreased with increase in exposure time. This study showed that yeast can survive adverse temperature and pH and can as well survive UV-ray exposure.</p> E. Ezaka, O. Nchedo, E.N. Ugbo, A.B. Adediran, O.E. Ayanda Copyright (c) Wed, 28 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Specialized trace elements and volatile fatty acids interactions for enhanced methane production and biomethanization process stability during high organic loading rate <p>Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and trace elements (TEs) interactions (VFAs*TEs) during biomethanization have effects that could be exploited to enhance anaerobic digestion (AD) of biomass. The goal of this study was to validate biocatalytic effects of specialized VFAs*TEs identified from a batch-derived Optimum TEs Configuration (or simply ‘Optimum’) on high organic loading rate (OLR) involving mixed fruit residue (MFR) fed in semi-continuous AD operation. The specialized VFAs*TEs were formulated as Variants of the Optimum and included Optimum –Cobalt (Co) for specialized VFAs*Co effects, and Optimum +Selenium (Se) for specialized VFAs*Se effects. Four duplicate AD reactors were treated with formulations reflecting the Optimum and the Variants. Each duplicate reactor was semi-continuously fed with MFR at varying OLR until instability occurred. Methane production, total volatile organic acidity (FOS) / total alkalinity (TAC) and VFAs fingerprints were measured as main responses. The results showed that reactors of the Optimum and its Variants were unstable at OLR of 8g oDM/L/d, but stability was restored in the Optimum –Co (FOS/TAC values of 0.6 compared to 1.51 and 1.67 for Optimum and Optimum +Se respectively). The average specific CH4 production (Nml/g oDM) of the Optimum and its Variants were Control: 431±36; Optimum: 553±16; Optimum –Co: 580±12; and Optimum +Se: 545±13. Optimum –Co also had the lowest acetic acid and butyric acid accumulation, but had higher propionic acid concentration (0.7 g/L) compared to the Optimum (0.3 g/L) and Optimum +Se (0.4 g/L).</p> N.C. Ezebuiro, I. Körner Copyright (c) Wed, 28 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000 Derivation of volatile fatty acids concentration-independent optimum trace elements configuration and elucidation of optimization kinetics of biomethanization processes <p>Trace elements (TEs) requirements for improved volatile fatty acids (VFA) degradation during biomethanization depend on VFA&nbsp; concentration of a reactor and the temperature of the process. While temperature remains relatively constant, VFA concentrations change in the course of biomethanization and this implies that for efficient VFA degradation, different trace elements configurations (TEC) should be supplemented. While this is the most efficient approach, it is impractical and constitutes a challenge for the effective use of TEs in the optimization of biomethanization processes. To alleviate this challenge, we modelled the biomethanization efficiency of various VFA&nbsp; concentration-dependent (VCD) TEs configuration as scenarios and derived a TEs configuration that produced optimum biomethanization across a wider range of VFA concentrations. The study was carried out at 37oC using different concentrations of fixed VFA composition and TEs configurations as scenarios. Response surface model and desirability function were used to determine and compare the&nbsp; biomethanization efficiency of the scenarios, and to derive a VFA concentration-independent (VCI) TEs configuration. Michaelis-Menten kinetics for two parameters was used to ascertain that the mechanism by which TEs supplementation enhanced mesophilic biomethanization was through an increase in maximum reaction rate (MRR). However, the enhancement was accompanied by an&nbsp; insignificant decline in inverse affinity (IA). </p> N.C. Ezebuiro Copyright (c) Wed, 28 Jul 2021 00:00:00 +0000