A Short-Term Bioassay for Whole Plant Toxicity

    Published: Jan 1991

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    A five-day, whole plant toxicity test was developed and evaluated. The 18 chemicals tested were primarily substituted benzenes and phenols, although representative herbicides, surfactants, and other industrial chemicals were also tested. The test yields information on root and shoot growth as a function of toxic chemical concentration in the root environment and can also be used to determine the effect on transpiration. The measurement found to be the most sensitive indicator of toxicity was total plant growth. EC50 (effective concentration that reduced growth 50%) values were estimated for each compound using regression analysis. This simple bioassay gives a quick response to an acute exposure and can be used to screen chemicals at various concentrations. The beginning of a unique database comparing species, concentrations, and chemical toxicity are presented, and the results are discussed in relation to other phytotoxicity data.


    soybean, barley, phytotoxicity, chlorophenol, dicamba, dichloroaniline, dichlorobenzene, dichlorophenol, dichlobenil, dinitrobenzene, dinitrotoluene, sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid, nitrobenzene, nitrophenol, pentachlorophenol, nitrotoluene, tributyl phosphate, trichloroacetic acid, trichlorophenol, thiourea

    Author Information:

    Pfleeger, T
    U.S. EPA Environmental Research Laboratory, Corvallis, OR

    Mc Farlane, C
    U.S. EPA Environmental Research Laboratory, Corvallis, OR

    Sherman, R
    U.S. EPA Environmental Research Laboratory, Corvallis, OR

    Volk, G
    U.S. EPA Environmental Research Laboratory, Corvallis, OR

    Committee/Subcommittee: E47.13

    DOI: 10.1520/STP19530S

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