Abstract: Indigenous mushrooms have attracted little attention form science in the East Africa region for a long time. And yet studies in other areas of the word have shown that mushrooms contain many different bioactive compounds with diverse biological activity. For long, mushrooms have been cultivated world wide for commercial purposes. In East Africa, however, little research has been done in to ascertain the nutritional and anti bacterial properties of indigenous mushrooms, much less their ecology. Proximate composition analysis (Weende) revealed the following: CP (25.9-41.9); CL ( 4.4-7.7); CHO (30.8-38.2); K (1.4-3.5); Ca ( 0.0095-0.0115). This points to the fact that the mushrooms are relatively high in protein and low in fat; making them potentially good health foods. Antibacterial activity was demonstrated in all puffball extracts, but particularly strong on E. coli. Both the polar (methanol) and the non-polar (pet-ether) extracts were shown to have antibacterial activity. The relatively high protein estimates obtained in this study indicate that the indigenous mushrooms are a good source of protein therefore could supplement human diet. The low lipid percentage of these mushrooms would mean that they are potential health foods. Crude extracts from indigenous puff ball mushrooms showed some antibacterial activity on both gram negative (Escherischia coli and Gram positive Staphylococcus aureus). Both methanol (polar) and petroleum ether extracts had activity on some organisms to varying degrees. Extracts from puff balls have greater antibacterial activity on gram negative bacteria than on gram positive. The non polar extracts (Petroleum ether) of puff balls had more activity on E. coli. From the results obtained it can be shown that indigenous puff balls could be a promising source of antibacterial agents. Since most mushrooms are saprophytic, easily growing on agriculture waste materials, it is recommended that agricultural system in this region be encouraged to domesticate these healthy foods. A type collection and taxonomical identification should be embarked on in the whole of the East Africa region so that botanical identification of all the indigenous mushrooms will be made much easier in the future.
D. Olila , A. Kapaata , J.D. Kabasa , L. Kisovi and P.K.T. Munishi , 2008. Antibacterial Activity and Nutritional Composition of Selected Indigenous Mushrooms of the Lake Victoria Basin . Journal of Food Technology, 6: 1-4.