EVALUATION OF Azadirachta Indica A. JUSS LEAF EXTRACT IN THE PROTECTION OF Triplochiton scleroxylon K. SCHUM AGAINST FUNGI ATTACK

Nigerian Journal of Forestry, 49 (2) 98 - 104

Adebawo, F. G. and Adegoke, O. A. (2019)

Abstract

The restriction on the use of conventional wood preservative necessitated the search for eco-friendly wood bio-preservative against bio-deteriorating agents. The study was carried out to evaluate the potential of Azadirachta indica (neem) leaf against fungal attack on Triplochiton scleroxylon wood. Ethanol was used as the solvent to get the extract from neem leaves after which five different concentration levels (100%, 75%, 50%, 25%, 0%) were prepared. Phytochemical screening of the crude extract was done qualitatively. Forty-eight wood blocks, (each 20 mm x 20mm x 60 mm) obtained from a 22-year old Triplochiton scleroxylon felled from area J4 of Omo Forest reserve, Ogun state, Nigeria were conditioned and treated with the extract using dipping method and the untreated samples served as the control. The wood blocks were inoculated with Pleurotus saju caju (brown rot fungi) and Pleurotus florida (white rot fungi) for 14 weeks. Absorption of neem leaf extract by wood blocks was determined for all the concentration levels and the resistance of the wood against fungal decay was evaluated using weight loss. Data obtained was analyzed using Analysis of variance at p≤0.05. Phytochemical screening of the oil indicated the presence of alkaloids, phenols, terpenoids, tannins, saponins and flavonoids. The retention of the preservative by the wood ranged between 11.15 - 110.29 kgm-3 and weight loss ranged between 3.68-36.22% and 4.31- 38.26% for white rot and brown rot respectively. The different preservative concentration levels significantly influenced the weight loss of the wood species used in this study. However, T3(50%) and T4 (25%) were highly resistance to Pleurotus saju caju and Pleurotus florida. Hence, it is concluded that the neem leaf extract is effective in protecting Triplochiton scleroxylon wood against Pleurotus saju caju and Pleurotus florida.