Diverse groups of microorganisms colonize phyllosphere and carry out different but specific ecological functions. The phyllosphere of four different plants; guava (Psidium guajava), hibiscus (Hibiscus-rosa sinensis), mango (Mangifera indica) and pumpkin (Telfairia occidentalis Hook), each from four different sites Aluu Community Health Centre, Lulu Briggs Health Centre, University of Port Harcourt Abuja campus, and University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital were examined for bacterial and fungal growth using culture-dependent technique. A total of 32 bacterial and 13 fungal species covering seven and five genera respectively were isolated and characterized as Bacillus, Enterobacter, Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Shigella and Staphylococcus; Aspergillus, Fusarium, Mucor, Penicillum and Rhizopus. Among the epiphytes, bacteria were found to predominate. Statistically, plant type and sampling location were found to extremely influence observed microbial composition associated with each plant and site at P<0.0001. The microbial genera isolated from this study showed that, both human and plant pathogens can colonize plants’ phyllosphere. Since most of the edible leafy vegetables have less waxy phyllosphere which permit microbial growth, it is necessary that they be washed and cooked properly before consumption to avoid ingestion of possible food pathogens that cause food-borne diseases.
Key words: Epiphytes, location, pathogens, plant type.
Copyright © 2020 Author(s) retain the copyright of this article.
This article is published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0