Effect of Crude Oil Pollution on Growth Parameters, Chlorophyll Content and Bulbils Yield in Air Potato (Dioscorea bulbifera L.)
Aniefiok Ndubuisi Osuagwu, Andrew Ugbede Okigbo, Imo A. Ekpo, Peter Nkachukwu Chukwurah, Reagan Bessong Agbor
Discovery and utilization of plants with high adaptation to crude oil pollution is currently deemed a safer and cost effective panacea to food security and environmental challenges arising from contamination due to oil spillage in oil producing economies. Against this backdrop, air potato (Dioscorea bulbifera L.) was screened in this study for its tolerance to various levels [5ml/kg, 10ml/kg, 20ml/kg, 50ml/kg] of soil crude oil pollution in a controlled pot experiment, with 0ml/kg serving as control. Results of the study showed that the control plants had significantly better (p<0.05) growth and bulbils yield parameters, and higher leaf chlorophyll content than the treated plants. Significantly better growth and yield characters were generally observed with plants grown in soil contaminated with lesser concentrations of crude oil indicating that the adverse effects of the pollution was dosedependent. The results obtained in this study indicate that although crude oil pollution affected Dioscorea bulbifera negatively, the plant appreciably tolerated the pollution at the levels investigated.
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