Fungal genetics, genomics, and secondary metabolites in pharmaceutical sciences

Planta Med. 2007 Feb;73(2):103-15. doi: 10.1055/s-2007-967104. Epub 2007 Jan 23.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / chemistry
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antifungal Agents / chemistry
  • Antifungal Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antineoplastic Agents / chemistry
  • Antineoplastic Agents / isolation & purification
  • Antiviral Agents / chemistry
  • Antiviral Agents / isolation & purification
  • Fungi / chemistry*
  • Fungi / genetics*
  • Fungi / metabolism
  • Genes, Fungal
  • Genome, Fungal*
  • Genomics*
  • Multigene Family


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Antifungal Agents
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Antiviral Agents