The combination of mild salinity conditions and exogenously applied phenolics modulates functional traits in lettuce

Leilei Zhang, Erika Martinelli, Biancamaria Senizza, Maria Begona Miras Moreno, Evren Yildiztugay, Busra Arikan, Fevzi Elbasan, Gunes Ak, Melike Balci, Gokhan Zengin, Youssef Rouphael, Luigi Lucini

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista


The quest for sustainable strategies aimed at increasing the bioactive properties of plantbased foods has grown quickly. In this work, we investigated the impact of exogenously applied phenolics, i.e., chlorogenic acid (CGA), hesperidin (HES), and their combinations (HES + CGA), on Lactuca sativa L. grown under normal-and mild-salinity conditions. To this aim, the phenolic profile, antioxidant properties, and enzyme inhibitory activity were determined. The untargeted metabolomics profiling revealed that lettuce treated with CGA under non-stressed conditions exhibited the highest total phenolic content (35.98 mg Eq./g). Lettuce samples grown under salt stress showed lower phenolic contents, except for lettuce treated with HES or HES + CGA, when comparing the same treatment between the two conditions. Furthermore, the antioxidant capacity was investigated through DPPH (2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl), ABTS (2,20-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline6-sulfonate)), and FRAP (ferric reducing antioxidant power) assays, coupled with metal-chelating activity and phosphomolybdenum capacity. An exciting increase in radical scavenging capacity was observed in lettuce treated with exogenous phenolics, in both stress and non-stress conditions. The inhibitory activity of the samples was evaluated against target health-related enzymes, namely cholinesterases (acetylcholinesterase; AChE; butyryl cholinesterase; BChE), tyrosinase, α-amylase, and α-glucosidase. Lettuce treated with HES + CGA under non-stress conditions exhibited the strongest inhibition against AChE and BChE, while the same treatment under salinity conditions resulted in the highest inhibition capacity against α-amylase. Additionally, CGA under non-stress conditions exhibited the best inhibitory effect against tyrosinase. All the functional traits investigated were significantly modulated by exogenous phenolics, salinity, and their combination. In more detail, flavonoids, lignans, and stilbenes were the most affected phenolics, whereas glycosidase enzymes and tyrosinase activity were the most affected among enzyme assays. In conclusion, the exogenous application of phenolics to lettuce represents an effective and green strategy to effectively modulate the phenolic profile, antioxidant activity, and enzyme inhibitory effects in lettuce, deserving future application to produce functional plant-based foods in a sustainable way.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1457-1457
Numero di pagine1
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021


  • Antioxidants
  • Chlorogenic acid
  • Elicitors
  • Enzymatic activity
  • Hesperidin
  • Lactuca sativa L
  • Metabolomics
  • Polyphenols
  • Salinity


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