Phyloplane Assessment of Leaf and Stalk for consumption and microbial diversity of sweet potato (Ipomoea Batatas (l) lam., Convolvulaceae)

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Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

                 Department of Plant Biology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

The nutrient and microbial contents of the leaves and stalks of two varieties of sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam., Convolvulaceae) were determined using standard analytical methods in order to ascertain its quality as a food material. The samples were found to contain a diverse array of carbohydrates, proteins, dietary fats, crude fiber and ash containing mineral deposits with potential nutritional benefits. However, the quick perishability of the food material is a major constraint to its wider utilization for consumption and this was attributed to the microbial load in it. The leaves and stalks contained strains of bacteria and fungi whose analyses were determined using pour plate method. The purple variety samples had lesser numbers of microbial loads in it while the white variety samples had more microbial load in it on the pour plate method. The pour plate method is a microbiological procedure used for isolating and growing individual colonies of micro organisms in pure culture. Pure cultures of the isolated organisms were identified through their colony appearance and microscopic observation of the stained samples. Some biochemical tests were conducted for the characterization of bacteria isolates. The shelf life of sweet potato leaves and stalks can be ascertained knowing the particular microorganisms present. It is important that consumers of this food material always harvest cultivars that have no sign of deterioration and food safety precautions should be adhered to in order to avoid consuming the toxic anti-nutrients.

 

Keywords:  Biodiversity, Phylosphere, Pour plate method, Sweet Potato, Vegetable

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