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Planta Med. 2007 Feb;73(2):103-15. Epub 2007 Jan 23.

Fungal genetics, genomics, and secondary metabolites in pharmaceutical sciences.

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Institute for Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmaceutical Biology and Biotechnology, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Germany.


Filamentous fungi produce a plethora of bioactive natural products. These metabolites display a broad range of useful activities for pharmaceutical purposes, exemplified best by the antibiotic penicillin. Yet, many more have been isolated, characterised, and tested, and some have made their way in clinical trials and into pharmaceutical practice. Through genomics, we become increasingly aware that the biosynthetic abilities for natural products are much richer than expected. The first part of our review highlights selected metabolites that filamentous fungi offer to pharmacists for drug development. This is followed by a summary on the potential of fungal genetics and genomics for pharmaceutical sciences and natural product research.

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