NIGERIAN JOURNAL OF MYCOLOGY

The Official Journal of the Mycological Society of Nigeria ( MYCOSON)

Welcome to Nigerian Journal of Mycology

THE PRESIDENT’S OPENING SPEECH DURING THE 11th ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE MYCOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF NIGERIA WHICH HELD AT THE RIVER STATE UNIVERSITY PORT HARCOURT, BETWEEN OCTOBER 6 AND 9, 2019.

Glory and gratification are due to almighty God for another conference of this fast growing Society. In my capacity as the succeeding and second President of this Society, I welcome Nigerians to this 11th conference. I appreciate the sacrifice of embarking on journey from across the length and breadth of this country, to grace this conference by your esteemed presence. May God honour you all and return us safely back to our various homes.

This is the first conference where my humble self mount the podium to address you other than Prof. Benjamin Afolabi Oso. When I was elected to step into his shoes on October 9, 2018, I had projected to being mentored by Prof Oso during my stewardship as his successor. Unfortunately, he got involved in an accident and died, whose remains was buried on May 10, 2019. Our amiable Secretary General, Dr Hanatu Musa also lost her husband shortly after hosting the immediate past conference in Ahmadu Bello University, Samaru, Zaria. Kindly help rise in a minute silence to honour the souls of the departed. May their souls rest in peace, and grant the surviving wife and children the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss. We love ‘baba’ Oso but God loves him better. The Council of this Society has since paid condolence visit to Baba Oso’s family. The Executive and some willing members of this Society, in recognition of Baba’s commitment to this Society raised some money; to produce jotter souvenir and ₦50,000= donation, which were presented to the family on the occasion of his burial ceremony. It was during this event that it dawned on us that the constitution of the Society has poor welfare. The committee on the review of the constitution may wish to look into that section.

It should be acknowledged here that the 10th annual conference was held courtesy of Dr Hanatu Musa. The conference was initially to be held in University of Jos. Jos had to decline hosting because of a negative development of frequent insurgence. Dr Hanatu saved situation, as she was able to convince the authority of Ahmadu Bello University to accept the hosting right. Mycological Society of Nigeria is eternally grateful to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Ibrahim Garba for the magnanimity. The Director of Academic Planning who stood in for the Vice Chancellor one time or the other is highly appreciated. The Society is thankful to Prof. C. Kwanashi, Prof D. N. Iortsuun and Prof. Saleh Alhaji Ado who made the conference a huge success.

Allow me to thank this body for electing me to serve as the President for two years. I hereby pledge to give all my best for the growth of the Society. A president cannot do it alone, so I implore you individually and collectively to accord the executives the maximum co-operation. This year’s conference theme: Fungi in the Petroleum, Agro-allied and Pharmaceutical Industries is a well thought out concern of Rivers State of Niger Delta, Nigeria. It is unfortunate that the greed of maximising profit by the big oil companies explored the wealth in Nigeria mineral resources without adequately embarking on clean up resulting from the spillage. In tandem with the adage ‘Heaven helps those who help themselves’, Rivers State University under the umbrella of Mycological Society of Nigeria, has brought together at this conference not to raise alarm, but to begin to proffer solution to the problem and of course resolving it fast.

One of the major problems facing the industrialized world today is the contamination of soils, ground water, sediments, surface water and air with hazardous and toxic chemicals. This description is the present situation of our Ogoni land in Nigeria. Fungi that we all research on constitute the agency for quick solution. The application of microorganisms which degrade or transform hazardous organic contaminants to less toxic compounds has become increasingly popular. A number of fungi exposed to hydrocarbon-polluted gas streams have been shown to assimilate volatile aromatic hydrocarbons as the sole source of carbon and energy.

Fungi are the most numerically abundant organisms in the terrestrial ecosystem, and are the primary decomposers of organic residues in soil. Fungi account for as much as 78 – 90% by weight of the Soil microbial biomass. Presence of microflora is known to decrease petroleum hydrocarbons (PHs). Microbiological processes play important role in the removal of PHs and in turn take advantage of the catabolic versatility of these organisms to degrade such compounds either partially or completely (mineralisation).

This 11th conference of Mycological Society of Nigeria may be moderating article presentations on : how to isolate PH-degrading fungi by co-enrichment and optimized enrichment methods, how to study the microbial community structure by high-throughput sequencing method, the metabolic versatilities of microorganisms for degrading PHs, how to treat the environmental problems through biological means, the available ecotoxicity studies for the analysis of residual PHs after the microbiological treatment at the PHs-contaminated sites.

Mushrooms harvested from the wild may contain useful chemicals for dealing with health problems. Penicillin is probably the best known medication obtained from mold, which is a potent antibiotic and kills bacteria. Another medication made by mold is Lovastatin, which is used to lower LDL cholesterol (the so-called bad cholesterol). Cyclosporine is a mold chemical that suppresses the activity of
the immune system and is administered after an organ transplant, etc.

Some fungi found in the soil are beneficial in commercial agriculture because their activities help to maintain soil fertility. Saprophytic fungi in acidic soils with low bacterial activities cause and help decompose dead plants and their waste. They take up the complex organic compounds by secreting enzymes. These enzymes convert the complex organic compounds into simpler ones like ammonia, hydrogen sulphide, carbon dioxide, water, etc. Some of these simpler compounds are absorbed back into the soil to form humus. The rest disappear into the air where they are used again by plants for synthesis. Most saprophytic fungi involved in decay maintain a constant cycle of carbon dioxide which is very important for plant photosynthesis. Some fungi attach to the roots of some plants and help them in taking up nutrients from the soil. This is known as mycorrhizal association. These plants can only grow to satisfaction when mycelium of the fungal partner is present in the soil. Mycorrhiza present in the soil helps in the development of good soil structure. They join small particles together to form bigger ones. Gibberellin is a plant hormone that can be isolated from the fungal strain Gibberela fujikuroi. This hormone regulates growth and influences different processes of plant development. These processes include stem elongation, germination, dormancy, leaf and fruit senescence, and flowering.


Fungi are though known to be responsible for many diseases of plants, industrially they constitute nature’s gift. The success of fungi in its natural ability to degrade complex organic structures is fundamentally because of their enzymes. The exo-enzymes are synthesized internally and then secreted outside, where their function is to break down complex macromolecules into smaller units. These enzymes degrade complex organic matter such as cellulose and hemicellulose into simple sugars that enzyme-producing organisms use as a source of carbon, energy, and nutrients. Grouped as hydrolases, lyases, oxidoreductases and transferases, these extracellular enzymes control soil enzyme activity through efficient degradation of biopolymers.

Upon senescence, plant residues, animals and microorganisms enter the dead organic matter pool and become a source of nutrients and energy for other organisms. Extracellular enzymes target macromolecules such as carbohydrates (cellulases), lignin (oxidases), organic phosphates (phosphatases), amino sugar polymers (chitinases) and proteins (proteases) and break them down into soluble sugars that are subsequently transported into cells to support heterotrophic metabolism.

Biopolymers are structurally complex and require the combined actions of a community of diverse microorganisms and their secreted exoenzymes to depolymerize the polysaccharides into easily assimilable monomers. These microbial communities are ubiquitous in nature, inhabiting both terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The cycling of elements from dead organic matter by heterotrophic soil microorganisms is essential for nutrient turnover and energy transfer in terrestrial ecosystems. Exoenzymes also aid digestion in the guts of ruminants, termites, humans and herbivores. By hydrolyzing plant cell wall polymers, microbes release energy that has the potential to be used by humans as biofuel. Other human uses include waste water treatment, composting and bioethanol.


Ladies and gentlemen mycologists, we should recognise ourselves as the academics that will turn otherwise nature’s problems into gold. As such, I hereby encourage that we form ourselves into research clusters and explore maximally the many benefits of fungi.

Thanks for your attention.
Prof. Hadith Suberu, (President MYCOSON)

 

From The Editor-in-Chief

The 12th volume of The Nigerian Journal of Mycology (NJM) has come out to testify to the consistence attribute of the Journal. It has further proved to the scientific community that Mycological Society of Nigeria (MYCOSON) is among the types that are steadfast and committed to producing versatile Scientists among its peers. The currency and quality of the journal attest to the dignity of the Society. Despite the fact that the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has prevented us from having the usual annual conference, we are still forging ahead to produce the journal. More interestingly, we are having two issues per this volume 12 this time around. We are through this acceding to the yearnings of our members that we should be able to have two issues per volume. This is made possible because we have many submissions than before from authors. This is really encouraging. As usual, this 12th edition touches on the various aspects of mycology as it relates to nature. The diverse areas of mycology with reference to plants, animals and applied mycology are well taken care of.

I would like to use this medium to advise our members and prospective authors to always read the “guide to authors” in order to give us less problems during the review of their manuscripts. I also reiterate here that corrections suggested by reviewers should be judiciously carried out ,since they are for the best interest of both the authors and the Journal. It will further enhance the quality of our journal. 

The Editorial Board had always played their role in lifting the name of the Society and has not in any time disappointed the Society and has always valued the confidence reposed on them by MYCOSON. Our Editorial Board members are changed as the need arises to give the best to the Society. I can not but put into remembrance the leadership quality of our past President late Prof. B.A. Oso. He was very supportive in encouraging the Editorial Board. The current President, Prof. H.A. Suberu is also very supportive in giving us the desired encouragement.

On behalf of the Editorial Board, I appreciate the support and the confidence we enjoy from the Society.
 

Thank you.
Professor David B. Olufolaji, FNSPP, FMYCOSON
(Editor-in-Chief)

EDITOR-IN CHIEF

Prof. D. B. Olufolaji

Dept. of Crop Soil and Pest Management

Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria

email: tundeolufolaji@gmail.com, dolufolaji@ymail.com                             


ASSOCIATE EDITORS

Dr. S.O. Fakoya

Department of Biological Sciences, Ondo State University of Science and Technology, Akure. Ondo State . Nigeria

 e-mail: fakxoj@yahoo.com, s.fakoya@osustech.edu.ng


Dr. M.A. Ajayi

Department of Crop, Soil and Pest Management, Federal
University of Technology, P.M.B. 704, Akure. Ondo State . Nigeria
e-mail: ajayimy25@yahoo.com