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Studies reveal that not up to 50% of earthworm species have been described in the world and the understanding of earthworm diversity is finite in most countries including Nigeria. The study was aimed at evaluating the diversity of earthworms and environmental factors affecting their abundance. Earthworms were collected from three (3) different sampling locations in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka. Descriptive statistics and estimation of species abundance, dominance and diversity were used to analyze the data obtained from the study. From the study, four (4) species of earthworms were identified and recorded from the three sampling locations. Eudrilus eugeniae (54.9%) was the most abundant species followed by Hyperidrilus africanus (20.3%), Libyodrilus violaceous (19.6%) and Alma millsoni (6.3%) with the least abundant species. The result of the diversity indices showed Science village (1.13) as the most diverse habitat followed by Emelda hostel (0.86) and Boys’ hostel (0.84) with the least diversity of species. Soil pH ranged from 2.25 to 4.06 and total organic matter ranged from 14.10 to 16.36%. Soil temperature was uniform with an average value of 27°C for the three sampling locations. The soil moisture content ranged from 11.19 to 14.12%. The conductivity recorded the lowest value (25.60μS/cm) in Emelda Hostel and highest value (111.8 μS/cm) in Science village. The study provided understanding into the patterns of earthworm populations in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and the need for the conservation of earthworm diversity. Better understanding about habitat and living conditions of earthworms is required to provide suitable and enhanced production of vermicompost in different geographic conditions.
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In this study, the potential DNA damage and reproductive toxicity of sorbitol was investigated using bone marrow micronucleus (MN), sperm morphology, and sperm count in mice. Five doses of 90, 45, 20, 10 and 1 mg/kg/day, defined by allometry, and approximately corresponding to 1.5g, 750mg, 330mg, 165mg and 16mg of sorbitol daily consumption by a 70kg human, respectively, were used. MN analysis showed a dose-dependent induction of micronucleated polychromatic erythrocytes and other nuclear abnormalities across the treatment groups. Assessment of sperm shape showed a significant (p < 0.05) increase in sperm abnormalities with significant (p < 0.05) decrease in mean sperm count in treated groups. The result of the oxidative stress biomarkers showed induction of significant (p < 0.05) increase in liver catalase, MDA and serum ALT and AST activities with concomitant decrease in SOD activities in exposed mice. A significant increase in weight of exposed mice were recorded when compared with the negative control. The results of this study showed the genotoxicity and reproductive effects of sorbitol.
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