Nutritional changes induced by fungi on cowpea (Vigna unguiculata L. Walp) seeds


Seeds are usually infected by microorganisms and pests during storage, causing deterioration and reduction in the nutritive and market value of these seeds. In this study, the proximate composition of Vigna unguiculata seeds inoculated with different fungal organisms was determined to ascertain the level of deterioration caused by fungi on the seeds. The fungi used in the study were Botryodiplodia theobromae, Fusarium oxysporum, Rhizopus stolonifer and Aspergillus niger. There was a significant increase (p<0.05, 0.008) in the protein content of seeds inoculated with fungi. Fusarium oxysporum (29.45%) caused the highest increase in protein followed by Aspergillus niger (28.14%), Botryodiplodia theobromae (27.85%) and Rhizopus stolonifer (27.50%). The increase could be attributed to the proteineous content of the fungal mycelia. There was a significant increase (p<0.05, 0.005/0.014) in moisture and ash content of inoculated seeds respectively. Fusarium oxysporum caused the highest increase in ash (7.93) while Rhizopus stolonifer (5.4) caused the lowest increase. The increase in ash content is due to the presence of minerals like potassium and phosphorus in the mycelia of the fungi. There was a significant decrease (p<0.05, 0.019) in the carbohydrate, lipid, fibre and dry matter content of fungi-inoculated seeds when compared with the control. Fusarium oxysporum (36.6) caused the highest decrease while Rhizopus stolonifer (43.2) caused the lowest decrease in dry matter of inoculated seeds. Decrease in dry matter may be as a result of production of enzymes by these fungi.

 Iyanyi Nkechi Gloria and Ataga Anthony Eromosele

 

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