WATER HYACINTH (EICHHORNIA CRASSIPES) AS AN INOCULUM CARRIER FOR BIOFERTILIZER
This study evaluates water hyacinth as an inoculum source for biofertilizer. Water hyacinth and harboring river were collected from Alape River in Igbokoda Area, Ondo State. Microbiological analyses of the seaweed were performed using conventional and molecular techniques while physicochemical properties of the water sample were determined using standard techniques. Microbial population of water hyacinth plant parts ranged 1.5 × 107 - 3.4 × 109 (CFU/g, 1. 5 x 103- 8.7 x 106 (CFU/g, 2.0 x103 – 1.02 x 108(CFU/g) and 4.3 x 105 - 4.1 x 106 (SFU/g) for total heterotrophic, phosphate solubilizing, nitrogen –fixing bacteria and heterotrophic fungi respectively. Klebsiella quasipneumoniae strain 07A044, Enterobacter cloacae strain ATCC 23373, Pantoea dispersa (LT 969731.1), Pantoea dispersa strain R 56-3, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Azotobacter sp, Azospirillium sp. and Rhizobium sp. Fusarium sp, Alternaria sp, Aspergillus niger, Pythium sp, Trichoderma sp, Rhizocotonia sp, and Pestalotiolopsis sp. were identified. Result revealed a pH of 7.46 and salinity (0.05%), Turbidity (88. 51 mgL-1), DO (5.22 mgL-1) and BOD (6.13mgL-1) with moderate levels of heavy metals. This study concludes that water hyacinth carries diverse types of microbial biofertilizer which can be harvested and prepared into microbial suspension to promote plant growth and increase crop production without jeopardizing environmental and human health.