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An investigation of microbial Flora of sweet potatoes sold in Bera Market in Gokana L.G.A. Six (6) batches of sweet potatoes were bought from Bera market and was transported to the laboratory of Science Laboratory Technology  Department of Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori. The 6 bactches of sweet potatoes were aseptically sliced out with the aid of a sterile knife. It was mixed up and further divided into three (3) halves. The first half of the experiment sample was plated out on Nutrient Agar (NA) while the other half was plated out on potato Dextrose Agar (PDA) Supplemented with tetracyline using serial dilution method. The resultant culture plates were incubated at 27oC and were examined after 24-48 hours for identification of micro-organisms. The colonies were also sub-cultured until a pure culture was obtained. The pure culture was Gram-stained, viewed under a microscope with the necessary Biochemical test for confirmation. A total of 258 colonies of microbes were isolated from the sweet potato. Among the isolates were three (3) species of bacteria which include Pseudomonas Spp., Lactobacillus Spp. And Bacillus Spp. Two (2) species were fungi while one (1) yeast. Fungal species had the highest number (80) among the isolates. This was followed by bacteria (70) and the yeast (48) representing 4.8 x 10-6. The implications of the results obtained in sweet potato have been discussed.




This Examines the Investigation of Microbes in Sweet Potatoes Sold at Bera Market in Gokana Local Government Area. Microbes/Microorganisms play may roles in the practical aspect of human culture and sometimes appears in literature. On the practical side, microbes have been used in activities from biological welfare to fermentation in food processing, bread, bear, and wine have been produced by yeast from the down of civilization.

Microbes such as bacteria and virus are important as pathogens, causing disease to human, crop plants and domestic animals. A small portion of micro-organisms are pathogen, causing disease and even death in plants and animals.

Microbes are microscopic organisms which may be single cell or multi-cellular. The study of microbes is called microbiology, a subject that began with the discovery of micro-organisms. (Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek 1670s).

Microbes are crucial to nutrient recycling in ecosystems as they act as decomposers, some microbes can fix nitrogen, they are vital part of the nitrogen cycle and recent studies indicate that airborne micro-organisms may play a role in precipitation and weather.

Sweet potato is a complete food that is high in carbohydrate, protein and vitamins content. It also contains some minerals such as potassium, phosphorus, iron and magnesium. It has about 70% water and it is characterized by its large brown oblong shape. It is green in colour when it is not matured and yellowish brown when mature. It grows underground and develops from the swollen, underground stem of the plant. It grows best in climates where cool nights alternate with warm day especially during the period of tuber formation. It requires a growing temperature of 150C – 200C.

In view of its nutrient and water contents, it is easily colonized by microorganisms especially when the skin is physically damaged due to harvesting faults which occur under humid condition as reported by Donna.

Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas lam) is the third most important root and tuber crop after cassava (Manihot esculenta) and yam (Discorea rotundata) within the sub-Saharan Africa (Ewell and Matuura, 1994). Sweet potato is a common root crop in Nigeria with enormous potential to be an efficient and economic source of food energy.

Sweet potato is fast becoming stable food of many people and some countries like, Nigeria, Kenya, and India. Highland are of particular interest as the potato is fast becoming quite widely accepted as a subsistence crop as well as a crop for sale at high prices for luxury markets.

Moreover, sweet potato roots are bulky and perishable unless cured. This limits the distance over which sweet potato can be transported economically. It was established that in cases where countries are capable of generating surplus, it tends to be relatively localized but dispersed and this leads to a lack of market integration and limits market size (Katan and De Roos, 2004: FAO 2011). Moreover, production is highly seasonal in most countries leading to marked variation in the quantity of roots in markets and associated price swings. Most especially, in African, there is commercial processing into chips or flour. And can be processing into fermented and dried products like fufu.

Sweet potato consumption has been adjudged to decline as income rise a change often linked with urbanization, partly because it is perceived as a “poor man’s food” but mostly because of the lack of post-harvest processing or storage (FAOSTAT, 2008; Centro International de la papa 2009). A sensible approach to achieve the goal of sweet potato product development would be to in increase the nutritional content of this highly consumed crop.

However, the wide food and industrial use of the tuber is hampered by microbial delay problem. Reports of microbial decay of sweet potato in Nigeria are scanty. This study was therefore designed to investigate the microbes in sweet potato sold in Bera market in particular and Nigeria in general with a view of sustaining the increasing production rate of the crop.


The increase of microbes of sweet potatoes sold at Bera market may be responsible for spoilage of the plant storage.

The situation may decrease  yield of the product and the use by buyer.

1.3.1 AIMS

This research work will enable us to identify the main aims of the study. The investigation of microbes in sweet potatoes sold at Bera market.


The main objectives of the study are to investigate microbes in sweet potatoes. The specific objectives are as follows:

(1) To understand what a sweet potato is and what microbes in sweet potatoes is all about.

(2) To investigate importance of microbes in sweet potatoes.

(3) To ascertain the suitable and best site for the planting of sweet potatoes and also to understand how to harvest and store the sweet potatoes.

(4) To understand the global situation of sweet potato and the nutritional composition of sweet potatoes.


This project work will help us to understand what microbes are all about. It will also enable us to understand the important of microbes in sweet potatoes.

This study will help us to understand that sweet potato is an important root crop grown all over the world and consumed as a vegetable, boiled, baked or often fermented into food and beverages. Through this study, we will understand some health related problems and also serve as food security.

The research or the investigation of microbes in sweet potatoes will established the fact that there is a lot more in sweet potatoes than other food crops. The project will established that the nutritional quality content in sweet potatoes can be enhanced by developing new varieties from available germplasm


The study will cover the investigation of microbes in sweet potatoes sold in Bera market Gokana L.G.A. analysis would be on those (farmers) who produce or plant sweet potatoes in Gokana generally and Bera particular.

The above specification is necessary to allow for the replication of the study somewhere else or in the same study area and to know what the result of the study could be generalized


Microbes: Is a microscopic organism which may be single cell or multi-cellular

Pathogens:  A bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that can cause disease.

Investigation: To try to find out the facts about (something, such as a crime or an accident) in order to learn how it happened, who did it, etc.

Germplasm:    Germplasm are living genetic resources such as seeds or tissues that are maintained for the purpose of animal and plant breeding, preservation, and other research uses.


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