A simple microplate technique was adopted for toxicity assessment of a number of pesticides including six herbicides (Atrazine, Dichloroprop, Glyphosphate, Chlorsulfuron, MCPA, and Simazine), an insecticide (Dimethoate) and a fungicide (Propiconazol). Growth response of free and immobilized cultures of the green chlorococcal algae Selenastrum capricornumtum to different treatments of these pesticides was tested and compared. The biotests were carried out under conditions optimal for the growth of the test alga. Algal growth was exposed in terms of dry weight, and was employed as the toxicity-response parameter. Dose-response curves were used to calculate the toxicity of the tested compounds in terms of EC50. Based on EC50 values, the responses of both immobilized and free cultures were quite similar for almost all the treatments. The technique facilitated the visual detection of the lowest toxic concentration giving no detectable algal growth (EC100). The technique is quite simple, rapid, practical, accurate, and space saving. It suggested that batteries of immobilized algae could replace free cultures in studies of toxicity testing.

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