Humic substances can modulate the allelopathic potential of caffeic, ferulic, and salicylic acids for seedlings of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.)

Loffredo, E.; Monaci, L.; Senesi, N.

Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 53(24): 9424-9430


ISSN/ISBN: 0021-8561
PMID: 16302757
DOI: 10.1021/jf050924b
Accession: 004438458

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The capacity of a leonardite humic acid (LHA), a soil humic acid (SHA), and a soil fulvic acid (SFA) in modulating the allelopathic potential of caffeic acid (CA), ferulic acid (FA), and salicylic acid (SA) on seedlings of lettuce (Lactuca sativa L.) and tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) was investigated. Lettuce showed a sensitivity greater than that of tomato to CA, FA, and SA phytotoxicity, which was significantly reduced or even suppressed in the presence of SHA or SFA, especially at the highest dose, but not LHA. In general, SFA was slightly more active than SHA, and the efficiency of the action depended on their concentration, the plant species and the organ examined, and the allelochemical. The daily measured residual concentration of CA and FA decreased drastically and that of SA slightly in the presence of germinating seeds of lettuce, which were thus able to absorb and/or enhance the degradation of CA and FA. The adsorption capacity of SHA for the three allelochemicals was small and decreased in the order FA > CA > SA, thus suggesting that adsorption could be a relevant mechanism, but not the only one, involved in the "antiallelopathic" action.