Phytotoxicity Testing with Higher Plants

Germination Toxicity

phytotest ToxicityTest Kit TK62

A 3 day toxicity test of the direct (intrinsic) effects of chemicals on the germination and early growth of plants.

The Phytotestkit is a variant of the Phytotoxtkit which allows to determine the direct (intrinsic) effects of growth inhibiting (toxic) chemicals and growth promoting chemicals on the germination and early growth of plants, without prior incorporation of the chemicals into a (reference) soil. Each PHYTOTESTKIT contains all the materials necessary to perform one complete test with one monocotyl and two dicotyl plant species, in 3 replicates. The assays are performed in special transparent test containers which allow for direct observations and length measurements by image analysis at the end of the test. Easy to follow instructions and detailed illustrations are provided in the kits for the conduct of the very practical assays. Calibrated high quality seeds of the 3 selected test plants are included in the kits for the germination and early growth tests.




Please review the step-by-step presentation on the PHYTOXKIT Procedure:

TK61 - PHYTOXKIT Test Presentation

germination Toxicity Test PhytotestKit TK62

Click here to download the Phytotoxkit Power Point.

EBPI Comparison Data of MicroBioTests

comparison Data MicroBiotests

Click here for comparison data.

Phytotest Kit Test Short Protocol

phototest Toxicity TestKit TK62

Click here to download EBPI's latest version of the Phytotest Kit short protocol,

Test species

  • In accordance with conventional phytotoxicity assays the selected plant species encompass monocotyls as well as dicotyls.
  • The plants selected for the Phytotestkit microbiotest are: the monocotyl Sorghum saccharatum (Sorgho) and the dicotyls Lepidium sativumSinapis alba (mustard).
  • The 3 former test species are frequently used in phytotoxicity analyses and have been selected for the Phytotestkit microbiotest because of their very rapid germination and growth of roots and shoots, which allow observations and scoring after only 3 days. (garden cress)
  • Phytotestkit tests can, however, also be applied with any type of seeds, with adaptation of the exposure time in function of the speed of germination and growth of the plants.

Test criterion

  • Germination of the seeds and growth of the roots (and wherever appropriate also the growth of the shoots) of the 3 selected plant species, upon “direct” exposure of the plants to solutions of chemicals spiked onto a thick filter paper, in comparison to germination and growth in a control, on a filter paper without chemical spiking.


  • The high quality seeds, the special standard test containers and materials are a guarantee for the high repeatability and reproducibility of the assays, in comparison to conventional assays on plants.


  • Very rapid set up and scorings which allow handling multiple tests concurrently.
  • Direct observation of the germinated seeds and automatic measurement of the roots (and shoots) in the unique transparent test containers, by image analysis. A simple and convenient image analysis program can be provided free of charge on demand.
  • Vertical incubation of the flat test containers in their holders, requiring a minimum of shelf- and incubation space.
  • Image capturing of the germinated seeds in the test containers with any type of “digital” equipment (camera, webcamera or flatbed scanner).
  • Analyses and measurements can be deferred (since the “pictures” of the test plates are stored on computer) which is a major asset in comparison to conventional tests on plants.
  • Minimal equipment needed for test performance: small incubator (webcam) camera or flatbed scanner computer with image analysis program


  • 18 transparent test containers each provided with a foam pad, thick white filter paper and black filter paper - 3 cardboard holders for the test containers and 3 tubes with seeds of the 3 test species.
  • Detailed Standard Operational Procedure brochure and abbreviated Bench Protocol.
  • Specification sheet with batch number of the seeds.

Optional Components for the Phytotestkit

  • TK62     PHYTOTESTKIT with seeds of 3 higher plants (1 monocotyl & 2 dicotyls)

Test Biota

  • TB61     10 tubes with Sorgho seed (Sorghum saccharatum)
  • TB62     10 tubes with garden cress seed (Lepidium sativum)
  • TB63     10 tubes with mustard seed (Sinapis alba)

Test Containers and Test Items

  • TC61     6 holders with each 6 testplates and 6 black filter papers
  • TC62     120 testplates (bottom and lid) and black filter papers
  • TC63     300 testplates (bottom and lid) and black filter papers
  • TC64     600 testplates (bottom and lid) and black filter papers
  • TC65     10 holders for 6 testplates
  • TC66     20 holders for 6 testplates
  • TC67     50 holders for 6 testplates
  • TC71     120 black filter papers for testplates
  • TC72     300 black filter papers for testplates
  • TC73     600 black filter papers for testplates
  • ST01     100 thick white filter papers for Phytotestkit seed tests
  • ST02     100 foam sheets for Phytotestkit seed tests

Reference Soil

  • TM51 10 bags with reference OECD soil for Phytotoxkit tests
  • TM52 1 bag with 5 kg reference OECD soil for Phytotoxkit tests (and measuring cup)
  • TM53 1 bag with 10 kg reference OECD soil for Phytotoxkit tests (and measuring cup)

Equipment Needed (Optional)

  • Incubator with lateral illumination
  • Luxmeter
  • Digital Camera