Molecular characterization of fungi associated with a traditionally fermented banana food from north-eastern, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
Idundi is a traditional fermented banana food commonly used by women in North¬eastern Tanzania, believed to aid the healing of the womb of new mothers soon after parturition. However, there is no any published information concerning this food, hence microorganisms involved are not known. A study aimed at genetic characterization of fungi associated with Idundi using DNA techniques was carried out. Fungi were isolated from Idundi samples collected from Same, Soni, and Lushoto. A total of 14 yeasts and 13 molds were isolated. Randomly amplified polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR) and PCR of ITS1-5.8S-ITS2 region revealed high genetic diversity of yeasts among and between the geographical locations. PCR of ITS1-5.8S- ITS2 region and PCR-restriction fragments length polymorphism (RFLP) indicated that Rhizopus isolates from the three locations studied were genetically affiliated. PCR targeting genes of the aflatoxigenic pathway indicated that none of the mold could produce aflatoxin. Sequence analysis of the D1/D2 domain of large subunit 26SrDNA of two yeast strains, Y1 and Y5, identified strain Y1 as Candida pavalidae. Strain Y5 could not be assigned to any known genus of yeasts and thus was suggested to be a new yeast species. Phylogenetic inference confirmed that yeast strain Y1 belong to a member of Candida while strain Y5 did not form a clade with either strain Y1 or any other yeast reported elsewhere whose 26SrDNA sequences were used for comparison. From the results, it appears that varieties of fungi are associated with Idundi. Also, the absence of aflatoxigenic molds predicts its safety on the basis of aflatoxin contaminations.
Available in printed form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF QR151.E44)
Fermentation,, Fungi, Banana, Tanzania, North Eastern
Elibariki, Gladness (2006) Molecular characterization of fungi associated with a traditionally fermented banana food from north-eastern, Tanzania, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.