Water, Air, and Soil Pollution

, Volume 59, Issue 3–4, pp 381–400 | Cite as

Literature review on higher plants for toxicity testing

  • Wuncheng Wang


Phytotoxicity tests using higher plants in general are infrequently used as a part of ecotoxicology. Many reports assess herbicide toxicity merely on the basis of faunal species tests. This is inadequate because the herbicide impact is much greater on flora than on fauna. Environmental pollution by herbicides was likely to have been quite wide-spread during the past years (1964–1984) when the use of herbicides grew five-fold. When herbicides reach non-target areas, they can cause unacceptable harm to non-target species, plants in particular. The toxicity of herbicides to algal species is not likely to be identical to that of higher plants, so that algal species may not serve as a surrogate species for the toxicity evaluation. Currently there are two promising phytotoxicity tests. Common duckweed is an aquatic species and sensitive to toxicity. Duckweek test can be used with static, renewal, or flow-through methods. The latter two are especially useful for unstable compounds or samples. Seed germination and root elongation tests are versatile and can be tested in water, wastewater, sediment, and slurry. Many recent activities in these areas suggest that phytotoxicity tests are a valuable part of ecotoxicology.


Toxicity Root Elongation Algal Species Aquatic Species Species Test 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Aulio, K.: 1980, Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 25, 713.Google Scholar
  2. Bargagli, R., D'amto, M. L., and Iosco, F. P.: 1987, Environ. Monit. Assess. 9, 285.Google Scholar
  3. Behera, B. K. and Misra, B. N.: 1982, Environ. Res. 28, 10.Google Scholar
  4. Behera, B. K. and Misra, B.N.: 1983, Environ. Res. 31, 381.Google Scholar
  5. Bellrose, F. C., Havera, S. P., Paveglio, F. L., and Steffeck, D. W.: 1983, ‘The Fate of Lakes in the Illinois River Valley’, Illinois Natural History Survey Biological Notes No. 119, Champaign, IL.Google Scholar
  6. Berry, C. R.: 1984, Environ. Poll. (Set. A) 34, 251.Google Scholar
  7. Birmingham, B. C. and Coleman, B.: 1983, Water, Air, and Soil Poll. 19, 123.Google Scholar
  8. Biship, W. E. and Perry, R. L.: 1981, ‘Development and Evaluation of a Flow-through Growth Inhibition Test with Duckweed (Lemna minor)’, ASTM STP 737, Amer. Soc. Testing & Materials, 421–435.Google Scholar
  9. Call, D. J., Brook, L. T., Kent, R. J., Poirier, S. H., and Knuth, M. L.: 1984, J. Environ. Qual. 13, 493.Google Scholar
  10. Charpentier, S., Garnier, J., and Flangnatti, R.: 1987, Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 38, 1055.Google Scholar
  11. Clark, J. R., van Hassel, V. H., Nicholson, R. B., Cherry, D. S., and Cairns, J.: 1981, Ecotox. Environ. Saf. 5, 87.Google Scholar
  12. Corbet, R. L., Webster, G. R. B., and Muir, D. C. G.: 1988, Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 7, 167.Google Scholar
  13. Davis, J. A.: 1981, ‘Comparison of Static-Replacement and Flow-Through Bioassays Using Duckweed, Lemna gibba G-3’, EPA 560/6–81–003, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, D.C., 93 p.Google Scholar
  14. DeNoyelles, F. and Kettle, W. D.: 1983, ‘Site Studies to Determine the Extent and Potential Impact of Herbicide Contamination in Kansas Waters’, Natl. Tech. Inform. Service, PB84-140631, Springfield, VA. 37 p.Google Scholar
  15. DeNoyelles, F., Kettle, W. D., and Sinn, D. E.: 1982, Ecol. 63, 1285.Google Scholar
  16. Dickman, M., Prescott, C., and Kaiser, K. L. E.: 1983, J. Great Lakes Res. 9, 317.Google Scholar
  17. Ebing, W. and Schuphan, I.: 1979, Ecotox. Environ. Saf. 3, 133.Google Scholar
  18. Evans, L. S., Gmur, N. F., and Mancini, D.: 1982, Environ. Expt. Botany 22, 445.Google Scholar
  19. Fekete, A., Riemer, D. N., and Motto, H. L.: 1976, J. Aqu. Plant Manag. 14, 19.Google Scholar
  20. Fletcher, J. S., Muhitch, M. J., Vann, D. R., McFarlane, J. C., and Benenati, F. S.: 1985a, Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 4, 523.Google Scholar
  21. Fletcher, J. S., Vann, D. R., and McFarlane, J. C.: 1985b, ‘Database Evidence for Possible Error between Vascular Plant and Algal Toxicity Testing’, 6th Soc. Environ. Toxicol. Chem., St. Louis, MO, November, 1985.Google Scholar
  22. Food and Drug Administration: 1987, ‘Seed Germination and Root Elongation’, Environmental Assessment Technical Assistance Document 406, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, Center vor Veterinary Medicine, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  23. Frick, H.: 1985, J. Plant Nutrition 8, 1131.Google Scholar
  24. Gabrielson, F. C., Malatino, A. M., and Santa Cruz, G. J.: 1980, ‘Correlation of Seasonal Variations in Phosphorus and Nitrogen Species in Upper Warrior River with Duckweed’, NTIS NP-2903928, 88 p.Google Scholar
  25. Garten, C. T. and Frank, M. L.: 1984, ‘Comparison of Toxicity to Terrestrial Plants with Algal Growth Inhibition by Herbicides’, ORNL/TM-9177, Environmental Sciences Division Publication No. 2361, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, 43 p.Google Scholar
  26. Gersich, F. M. and Mayes, M. A.: 1986, Water Res. 20, 939.Google Scholar
  27. Gersich, F. M. and Hopkins, D. L., and Milazzo, D. P.: 1985, Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 35, 121.Google Scholar
  28. Glandon, R. P. and McNabb, C. D.: 1978, Aqu. Botany 4, 53.Google Scholar
  29. Glotfelty, D. E., Taylor, A. W., Isensee, A. R., Jersey, J., and Glenn, S.: 1984, J. Environ. Qual. 13, 115.Google Scholar
  30. Godbold, D. L. and Huttermann, A.: 1985, Environ. Poll. 38, 375.Google Scholar
  31. Gunkel, V. G.: 1984, Archiv für Hydrobiologie Suppl. 69, 130.Google Scholar
  32. Hartman, W. A. and Martin, D. B.: 1984, Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 33, 355.Google Scholar
  33. Hedtke, S. F., West, C. W., Allen, K. N., Norberg-King, T. J., and Mount, D. I.: 1986, Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 5, 531.Google Scholar
  34. Hillman, W. S. and Culley, D. D.: 1978, Amer. Sci. 66, 442.Google Scholar
  35. Huber, W., Schubert, V., and Sauter, C.: 1982, Environ. Poll. (Ser. A) 29, 215.Google Scholar
  36. Hughes, J. S., Alexander, M. M., and Balu, K.: 1988, ‘An Evaluation of Appropriate Expressions of Toxicity in Aquatic Plant Bioassays as Demonstrated by the Effects of Atrazine on Algae and Duckweed’, ASTM STP 921, Amer. Sco. Testing Materials, pp. 531–547.Google Scholar
  37. Hutchinson, T. C. and Czyrska, H.: 1975, Verh. Internat. Verein. Limnol. 19, 2102.Google Scholar
  38. Irving, P. M.: 1985, Environ. Expt. Botany 25, 327.Google Scholar
  39. Isabell, P. S., Fooks, L. J., Keddy, P. A., and Wilson, S. D.: 1987, J. Environ. Manag. 25, 57.Google Scholar
  40. Johnston, J. W. and Shriner, D. S.: 1985, Environ. Expt. Botany 25, 348.Google Scholar
  41. Jones, T. W. and Estes, P. S.: 1984, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 13, 237.Google Scholar
  42. Junk, G. A., Spalding, R. F., and Richard, J. J.: 1980, J. Environ. Qual. 9, 479.Google Scholar
  43. Kalisz, P. J., Stringer, J. W., Volpe, J. A., and Clark, D. T.: 1988, J. Environ. Qual. 17, 62.Google Scholar
  44. Kemp, W. M., Boynton, W. R., Stevenson, J. C., Means, J. C., Twilley, R. R., and Jones, T. W.: 1984, ‘Submerged Vegetation in Upper Chesapeake Bay: Studies Related to Possible Causes of the Recent Decline in Abundance’, EPA-600/S3-84-15, NTIS PPB-84-140 292.Google Scholar
  45. King, J. M. and Coley, K. S.: 1985, ‘Toxicity of Aqueous Extracts of Natural and Synthetic Oils to Three Species of Lemna’, ASTM STP 891, Amer. Soc. Testing & Materials, pp. 302–309.Google Scholar
  46. Leonard, R. A.: 1988, ‘Herbicides in Surface Waters’, in R. Grover (ed.), Environmental Chemistry of Herbicides, CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL. Lien, B. C., Walker, J. R. L., and Peters, J. A.: 1980, N. Z. J. Sci. 23, 179.Google Scholar
  47. Lockhart, W. L., Billeck, B. N., de March, B. G. E., and Muir, D. C. G.: 1983, ‘Uptake and Toxicity of Organic Compounds: Studies with an Aquatic Macrophyte (Lemna minor)’, ASTM STP 802, Amer. Soc. Testing in Materials, pp. 460–468.Google Scholar
  48. Luessem, H. and Rahman, A.: 1980, Vom Wasser 54, 29.Google Scholar
  49. Mangi, J., Schmidt, K., Pankow, J., Gaines, L., and Turner, P.: 1978, Environ. Poll. 16, 285.Google Scholar
  50. Martin, C. D., Baker, J. L., Erbach, D. C., and Johnson, H. P.: 1978, Trans. Amer. Soc. Agr. Eng. 21, 1164.Google Scholar
  51. Mayer, R.: 1983, ‘Interaction of Forest Canopies with Atmospheric Constituents: Aluminium and Heavy Metals’, in: B. Ulrich and J. Pankrath (eds.), Accumulating Air Pollutants in Forest Ecosystems, Kluwer Acad. Publ., Dordrecht, Holland, pp. 47–56.Google Scholar
  52. Mayer, A. M. and Poljakoff-Mayber, A.: 1982, The Germination of Seeds, 3d ed. Pergamon Press, Oxford, England.Google Scholar
  53. McCall, E. C., Lans, D. D., and Parr, A. D.: 1984, Transport Modeling of an Agricultural Herbicide, a Laboratory Simulation, Natl. Tech. Inform. Service PB84-140623, 25 p.Google Scholar
  54. McFarlane, J. C. and Pfleeger, T.: 1987, J. Environ. Qual. 16, 361.Google Scholar
  55. Miller, W. E., Peterson, S. A., Greene, J. C., and Callahan, C. A.: 1985, J. Environ. Qual. 14, 569.Google Scholar
  56. Mitchell, D. G., Chapman, P. M., and Long, T. J.: 1987, Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 39, 1028.Google Scholar
  57. Mo, S. C., Choi, D. S., and Robinson, J. W.: 1988, J. Environ. Sci. Health (A) 23, 139.Google Scholar
  58. Mortimer, D. C.: 1985, Environ. Monit. Assess. 5, 311.Google Scholar
  59. Muir, D. C. G., Yoo, J. Y., and Baker, B. E.: 1978, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 7, 221.Google Scholar
  60. Nasu, Y. and Kugimoto, M.: 1981, Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 10, 159.Google Scholar
  61. Nasu, Y., Kugimoto, M., Tanaka, O., and Takimoto, A.: 1983, Environ. Poll. (Ser. A) 32, 201.Google Scholar
  62. Naqvi, S. M., Davi, V. O., and Hawkins, R. M.: 1985, Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 35, 127.Google Scholar
  63. Nebeker, A. V., Savonen, C., and Stevens, D. G.: 1985, Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 4, 233.Google Scholar
  64. Nielsen, E. G. and Lee, L. K.: 1987, ‘The Magnitude and Costs of Groundwater Contamination from Agricultural Chemicals: A National Perspective’, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Staff Report AGES870318, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  65. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: 1984, Terrestrial Plants: Growth Test, OECD guideline for testing of chemicals, No. 208, Paris.Google Scholar
  66. Oron, G., Porath, D., and Wildshut, L. R.: 1986, ASCE, J. Environ. Eng. 112, 247.Google Scholar
  67. Osborne, P. L. and Leach, G. L.: 1983, Environ. Conserv. 10, 323.Google Scholar
  68. Patterson, W. A. and Olson, J. J.: 1983, Can. J. For. Res. 13, 233.Google Scholar
  69. Peichl, L., Lay, J. P., and Korte, F.: 1985, Zeitschrift für Wasser- und Abwasser Forschung 18, 217.Google Scholar
  70. Peltier, W. H. and C. I. Weber (eds.): 1985, ‘Methods for Measuring Acute Toxicity of Effluent to Freshwater and Marine Organisms’, EPA/600/4–85/013, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH.Google Scholar
  71. Percy, K.: 1986, New Phytol. 104, 473.Google Scholar
  72. Perez, J. D., Esteban, E., Gomez, M., and Gallardo-Lara, F.: 1986, J. Environ. Sci. Health B21, 349.Google Scholar
  73. Presing, M. and Ponyl, J. E.: 1986, Arch. für Hydrobiologie 106, 275.Google Scholar
  74. Ratsch, H. C.: 1983, ‘Interlaboratory Root Elongation Testing of Toxic Substances on Selected Plant Species’, U.S. Environ. Protection Agency EPA-600/S3-83-051.Google Scholar
  75. Ratsch, H. C. and Johndro, D.: 1986, Environ. Monit. Assessment 6, 267.Google Scholar
  76. Richard, J. J., Junk, G. A., Avery, M. J., Nehring, N. L., Fritz, J. S., and Svec, H. J.: 1975, Pest. Monit. J. 9, 117.Google Scholar
  77. Rowe, E. L., Ziobro, R. J., Wang, C. J. K., and Dence, C. W.: 1982, Environ. Poll. (Set. A) 27, 289.Google Scholar
  78. Sahai, R., Roy, P. S., and Kaur, G.: 1977, Indian J. Ecol. 4, 242.Google Scholar
  79. Siegel, B. Z., Siegel, S. M., and Horsky, S. J.: 1984, Environ. Sci. Tech. 18, 179.Google Scholar
  80. Seto, M., Takahashi, Y., Ushijima, T., and Tazaki, T.: 1979, Japanese J. Limnol. 40, 61.Google Scholar
  81. Spencer, D. F.: 1984, Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 33, 373.Google Scholar
  82. Srivastava, N. and Sahai, R.: 1987, Environ. Poll. 43, 91.Google Scholar
  83. Srivastava, P. C., Totey, N. G., and Prakash, O.: 1986, Plant and Soil 91, 143.Google Scholar
  84. Staves, R. P. and Knaus, R. M.: 1985, Aqu. Botany 23, 261.Google Scholar
  85. Takemoto, B. K. and Noble, D.: 1986, New Phytol 103, 525.Google Scholar
  86. Takemoto, B. K., Noble, D., and Harrington, H. M.: 1986, New Phytol. 103, 541.Google Scholar
  87. Taraldsen, J. E. and Norberg-King, T. J.: 1990, Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 9, 761.Google Scholar
  88. Thomas, J. M. and Cline, J. R.: 1985, Environ. Toxicol Chem. 4, 201.Google Scholar
  89. Thomas, J. M., Skalske, J. P., Cline, J. P., McShane, M. C., Simpson, J. C., Miller, W. E., Peterson, S. A., Callahan, C. A., and Greene, J. C.: 1986, Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 5, 487.Google Scholar
  90. Tibbitts, T. W., Will-Wolf, S., Karnowsky, D. F., and Olszyk, D. M.: 1982, ‘Impact of Air Pollution on Vegetation near the Columbia Generating Station: Wisconsin Power Plant Impact Study’, Natl. Tech. Infor. Service PB82-258591, Springfield, VA.Google Scholar
  91. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: 1982, ‘Seed Germination/Root Elongation Toxicity Tests’, EG12, Office of Toxic Substances, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  92. Van Vierssen, W. and Prins, T. C.: 1985, Aquat. Botany 21, 165.Google Scholar
  93. Walbridge, C. T.: 1977, ‘A Flow-Through Testing Procedure with Duckweed (Lemna minor L.)’, EPA600/3–77–100, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Duluth, MN, 20 p.Google Scholar
  94. Wang, W.: 1985a, Environ. Internat. 11, 49.Google Scholar
  95. Wang, W.: 1985b, Environ. Internat. 11, 95.Google Scholar
  96. Wang, W.: 1986a, Environ. Poll. (Ser. B) 11, 1.Google Scholar
  97. Wang, W.: 1986b, Environ. Poll. (Ser. B) 11, 193.Google Scholar
  98. Wang, W.: 1986c, ‘Site-Specific Phytotoxicity of Heavy Metals’, Illinois State Water Survey Contract Report 403 to the U.S. Environ. Protection Agency. 85 p.Google Scholar
  99. Wang, W.: 1986d, Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 5, 891.Google Scholar
  100. Wang, W.: 1987a, Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 6, 409.Google Scholar
  101. Wang, W.: 1987b, Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 6, 961.Google Scholar
  102. Wang, W.: 1987c, Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 6, 953.Google Scholar
  103. Wang, W. and Willems, J. M.: 1988, Environ. Toxicol. Chem. 7, 645.Google Scholar
  104. Wehtje, G. R., Spalding, R. F., Burnside, O.C., Lowry, S. R., and Leavitt, R. C.: 1983, Weed Sci. 31, 610.Google Scholar
  105. Whitton, B. A., Say, P. J., and Jupp, B. P.: 1982, Environ. Poll. (Ser. B), 3, 299.Google Scholar
  106. Wilson, M. F., Savage, E. P., Adrian, D. D., Aaronson, M. J., Keefe, T. J., Hamar, D. H., and Tessari, J. T.: 1987, Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 39, 807.Google Scholar
  107. Wolf, D. C. and Jackson, R. L.: 1982, ‘Atrazine Degradation, Sorption, and Bioconcentration in Water Systems’, Natl. Tech. Inform. Service PB83-150151, 45 p.Google Scholar
  108. Wolfenden, J. and Wellburn, H. R.: 1986, New Phytol. 104, 97.Google Scholar
  109. Wolverton, B. C. and McDonald, R. C.: 1979, J. Water Poll. Control Fed. 51, 305.Google Scholar
  110. Wong, M. H. and Bradshaw, A. D.: 1982, New Phytol. 91, 255.Google Scholar
  111. Wu, T. L., Correll, D. L., and Remenapp, A. E. H.: 1983, J. Environ. Qual. 12, 330.Google Scholar
  112. Wu, T. L., Lambert, L., Hastings, D., and Banning, D.: 1980, Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol 24, 411.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wuncheng Wang
    • 1
  1. 1.Illinois State Water SurveyPeoriaU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations