A simple bioassay for distinguishing chemical phytotoxicants has been developed. Plant seedlings were grown on an agar medium in test tubes for 6 or 8 days and then treated with a chemical solution. Phytotoxic chemicals induced production of stress-ethylene and ethane that could be collected in the test tube and quantitatively measured by gas chromatography. Bioassays were completed within 24 h.
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