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Banana peel culture as an indigenous medium to induce sporulation for identification

March 13 2017

More fungi are known as human pathogens now and these include newer and rarer species. Identifying these species from growth on conventional culture media tends to be challenging due to the absence of characteristic features. An indigenous and cheap culture medium, similar to the natural substrate of these fungi is needed to aid diagnosis in a conventional laboratory setting.

Kindo and colleagues (2016) developed a media using sterilised banana peel as substrate for the growth and isolation of some rare fungi. This was done by taking unidentifiable fungi on primary isolation media and inoculating them on banana peel pieces along with few sterile coverslips, covered and kept at room temperature for 10-15 days. An un-inoculated separate plate of sterilised banana peel served as the negative control. Fungi grown were then identified microscopically based on their characteristic morphology.

The researchers were able to identify six of the rarer human pathogenic ascomycetes (Lasiodiplodia theobromaeMacrophomina phaseolinaNigrospora sphaericaChaetomium murorum), coelomycetes (Nattrassia mangiferae) and basidiomycetes (Schizophyllum commune) fungi. This method was found to be easy, affordable and effective.

Fig 1 Banana peel culture medium ( view: Kindo et al 2016)

Other methods of inducing fungi to sporulate include plating onto potato dextrose agar, Czapek Dox agar, or directly  sending for sequencing

Article Kindo et al 2016.