A total of 132 home-stored samples of cassava chips were collected in 45 villages situated in three distinct geographical locations of Southern Cameroon for assessment of their mycoflora. Cassava chips were split into small pieces (10 x 10 x 5 mm) and these were plated onto Petri dishes containing water agar at 25°C after a 7 day incubation period to yield of mycoflora. Aspergillus, Fusarium and Penicillium spp. were the main groups of fungi isolated. 14 Aspergillus, nine Fusarium and 14 Penicillium spp. were identified from a total of 3204 isolates obtained. Aspergillus spp. ranked first in prevalence at 57%.Penicillium spp. represented only 14% of all isolates. Six stored product-insects in five families and two orders were found infesting some samples. These did not appear to have any significant (P< 0.05) relationship with the level of recovery of the fungal taxa detected. Only the moisture content and the location of sample collection had statistically significant (P< 0.05) impact on fungal infestation of samples. Diversity indices computed using Simpson’s index for all fungal genera and for each location showed that these varied greatly. Across locations, Mbalmayo and Yaoundé were sources of greater species diversity. Among the three fungal groups, Aspergillus species yielded the most diverse fungal population. The results of the present study could provide a basis for identifying and selecting specific fungi, especially toxigenic species for which intensive efforts should be directed to assess potential mycotoxin problems occurring alone or in combination on stored cassava products.
Key words: Aspergillus, Fusarium, Penicillium, diversity indices, mycotoxin.