Use of salicylic acid during cultivation of plants as a strategy to improve its metabolite profile and beneficial health effects

Main Article Content

Humberto Ramos-Sotelo
Marely G. Figueroa-Pérez


antioxidant capacity, bioactive compounds, elicitation, health, salicylic acid


Chemical elicitors in plants during cultivation have been applied in soil, hydroponic solutions, or sprayed on the leaves to induce physiological changes and stimulate the production of bioactive compounds. Salicylic acid (SA) is a phenolic compound present in plants with multiple functions, including stimulus of plant growth and induction of plant defense responses under conditions of stress. Recently, the use of SA as elicitor has generated much interest, due to the growing number of studies demonstrating its positive effects in fruits, vegetables, and herbs on the induction of phytochemicals, mainly phenolic compounds, alkaloids, saponins, carotenoids, among others. The health benefits of plant materials treated with SA are mainly their antioxidant capacities determined by the 2,2’-azinobis-(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) and 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrilhidrazil (DPPH) assays and anti-inflammatory properties determined in vitro, as well as hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic properties and renal protection evaluated by in vivo studies. Therefore, the exogenous application of SA during cultivation of different plants could be an alternative to increase their economic value and could be the basis for designing standardized procedures in the production of bioactive compounds.

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