Six laboratory experiments were carried out to investigate the effect of the fungicide Benomyl on pure cultures of some plant growth promoting bacteria (PGPB) and some fungi. The highest LD50 was recorded for Bacillus circulans and proved to be the most resistant to the fungicide, followed by Azospirillum braziliense, while Penicillium sp. was the most affected microorganism. LD50 values for the affected microorganisms were in 21-240 orders of magnitude lower in comparison with the LD50 value for Azospirillum braziliense. The results indicate a strong selectivity for Benomyl against Rhizobium meliloti and Penicillium sp. when compared to other microorganisms tested. The highest safety coefficient was recorded for Bacillus circulans followed by Azospirillum braziliense, while Rhizobium meliloti, showed the lowest safety coefficient value compared to other bacteria. The lowest toxicity index was recorded for Bacillus circulans and Azospirillum braziliense. The slope of the curves for Bacillus sp. and Rhizobium meliloti was steeper than that of the other curves, suggesting that even a slight increase of the dose of the fungicide can cause a very strong negative effect. In conclusion, Benomyl could be applied without restriction when using inocula based on growth promoting bacteria such as symbiotic nitrogen fixers (Rhizobium meliloti), non-symbiotic nitrogen fixers (Azospirillum braziliense) or potassium solibilizers (Bacillus circulans), given that the fungicide is applied within the range of the recommended field dose.
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