Characterisation of Fungi of Stored Common Bean Cultivars Grown in the Menoua Division, Cameroon.
Background: In Cameroon, common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L) is amongst the legumes which are greatly consumed. Farmers in Cameroon especially the Menoua Division grow different common bean cultivars which after harvest, are stored to be used as food over the storage period or for sale. Stored common bean after harvest in Cameroon are prone to fungal spoilage.
Objective: This study aimed at characterising storage fungi on cultivars of stored common bean using morphological and molecular techniques.
Methods: Six stored cultivars of beans were used; Kidney bean, Black bean, Navy bean, Pinto bean, Pea bean and Large seeded bean. These cultivars were plated on potato dextrose agar media for fungi growth. Morphological and molecular characteristics of fungi was determined using standard techniques.
Results: A total of four fungi isolates resulted. Homology matches of the gene sequences in the Genbank databases identified the isolates to be; Xylaria hypoxylon, Aspergillus flavus, Penicillium aethiopicum and Fusarium oxysporium. Phylogenetic analysis and multiple sequence alignment showed these isolates were of distinct species.
Conclusion: To conclude, the species of fungi recovered from the stored cultivars signified poor preservation methods carried out after harvest. This study has brought forth a novel knowledge regarding fungal species associated with stored common bean cultivars in Menoua, Division. Some of these species are known to contaminate stored food with mycotoxins which can cause serious health impacts. For instance Aspergillus flavus which was amongst the isolated fungi is known to produce aflatoxins which if consumed in beans can increase the risk of developing liver cancer.