Phytochemistry Reviews

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 645–656 | Cite as

Plant biodiversity: phytochemicals and health

  • Pinarosa Avato
  • Mariapia Argentieri


Biodiversity may be defined as the variability occuring among living organisms and affecting all species of animals and plants, their genetics and their environment. Biological diversity of plants also relies on the chemical diversity deriving from their specialized metabolites which possess a wide range of different chemical structures as a result of plant evolution. They are responsible for the plant ecological properties and are required for the plant-environment interactions. In addition, many of them display important pharmacological properties. In the recent years, the growing interest in using plant metabolites to treat diseases in humans and animals and the high request of health products originating from natural sources rather than synthetic has revived the research on plant biodiversity to identify new bioactive molecules. Based on our studies on the chemical and biological characterization of rare or less studied plant species, the present paper aims to describe a selection of botanical species with phytopharmaceutical importance in order to highlight the chemical polymorphism deriving from their biodiversity along with its implications on bioactivity.


Biodiversity Brassicaceae Passiflora L. Lavandula L. Thapsia L. 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di FarmaciaUniversitá di Bari Aldo MoroBariItaly

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