Palm wine in Nigeria is considered a beverage. Its usage in local and traditional events pre-dates history of man’s existence. Recently bio-mining of this local drink for high throughput microbial strains have not gained much attention to scientist. This study is aimed at characterizing yeasts isolated from freshly tapped palm wine in Alakahia, Rivers State, Nigeria. A total of 4 samples was analysed. Total yeast count was done on glucose yeast agar (GYA) using spread plate technique. The yeast isolates were identified by molecular characterization. DNA sequence analyses was achieved through DNA extraction using CTAB procedure, amplification of regions of rRNA/Internal Transcribed Spacer sequence (ITS) and purification of the PCR products. The amplified region was done using ITS1 and ITS4 which are recommended universal primers for fungi identifications. The total yeast count ranged from 6.5×104 to 3.2×108 cfu/ml. Gene amplification bands revealed that the molecular weight of the isolates were 500 bp. The BLAST and phylogenetic analysis of F2 and F3 amplicons had 80.04% similarity with Saccharomyces cerevisiae strain CS11 with 50% frequency of occurrence while F4 had 100% similarity with Candida ethanolica with 25% frequency of occurrence and F1 had 99.8% similarity with Pichia sp. feni 106 with also 25% frequency of occurrence. Statistical analysis using two-way ANOVA showed that the microbial quality of the palm wines is location specific. This investigation further suggests that raffia palm can be harnessed in bioprospecting of high-throughput yeast starter in biotechnological studies.
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