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    The aim of this study was to determine the influence of syringic acid (SA), a plant secondary metabolite (PSM), on the properties of soil contaminated with 2-methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic acid (MCPA) and the condition of two cucurbit species zucchini (C. pepo L. 'Atena Polka') and cucumber (C. sativus 'Cezar') grown on that soil. It was found that amendment with MCPA and MCPA + SA modified the soil physico-chemical properties. Content of N and K was significantly higher for variants amended with SA and/or MCPA, while P content was lower in variant amended with SA. The cucurbits demonstrated varied efficiencies in mitigating the phytotoxicity of the MCPA-treated soil. For soil amended with MCPA + SA, samples remediated with cucumber were characterized as slightly toxic or toxic (45.2%-81.5%), while those planted with zucchini were nontoxic or slightly toxic (-40.6%-47.8%). Development of cucumber seedlings was fully inhibited by MCPA, regardless of SA application, zucchini demonstrated enhanced growth in soil treated with MCPA + SA and no statistically significant differences between morphological parameters of MCPA + SA-treated zucchini in comparison to control plants were observed. The obtained findings suggest that the application of SA is a promising way to mitigate the toxic influence of MCPA in the soil, depending on the cultivated plant species. Novelty statement: The study meets the criteria of novelty and innovativeness. Most importantly, the study is focused on: phytotoxicity studies to inform about the limitations of phytotechnology based on PSMs. Additionally, this manuscript provides an interdisciplinary description of the effects of MCPA and naturally occurring PSM- SA on cucurbits and soil parameters. Such studies, which combine the interactions between cucurbits, their secondary metabolite (SA) and their role in mitigation of phytotoxicity in MCPA-contaminated soil, has not been performed before.


    Elżbieta Mierzejewska, Wojciech Tołoczko, Magdalena Urbaniak. The effects of syringic acid on the properties of MCPA-contaminated soil and the growth of two cucurbit species. International journal of phytoremediation. 2022;24(2):205-214

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    PMID: 34126809

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