Fungal-Derived Natural Product: Synthesis, Function, and Applications

  • Amit Kumar Singh
  • Harvesh Kumar Rana
  • Abhay K. Pandey
Part of the Fungal Biology book series (FUNGBIO)


The kingdom Fungi represents an incredibly rich and untapped source of bioactive natural products and seems to be an ideal agent for providing unique chemical compounds against various diseases. They are present in almost every ecological niche, making them the second largest kingdom after bacteria. It has been reported that earth is approximately estimated to have 1.5 million species and only 10% of it is known to scientific community. Several fungal secondary metabolites are useful for mankind, for example, penicillin a β-lactam antibiotic was isolated first time from Penicillium sp. Now, it is one of the widely used antibiotics worldwide. Fungal kingdom produces a variety of secondary metabolites, including all important classes like terpenes, terpenoids, alkaloids, and sugar derivatives. Though many fungal-derived natural products are known today, the production potential of fungus is significantly low because the expression of gene and corresponding secondary metabolites are cryptic/very less under laboratory condition. Therefore, scientific community around the world is searching for a chemical method to synthesize the secondary metabolite in laboratory at higher yield. Moreover, total in vitro chemical synthesis does not always signify a cost-effective method for producing fungal-derived natural compound, particularly when synthesizing compounds with complex chemistry. However, this issue can be overcome by utilizing heterologous production of secondary metabolites. Current chapter describes in detail the variety of secondary metabolites produced, their synthesis strategies via chemical and heterologous mode, as well as their biological applications.


Alkaloids Anticancer Fungi Penicillin Secondary metabolites 



A.K.S. acknowledges the CSIR New Delhi for providing financial support in the form of Senior Research Fellowship. HKR acknowledges the UGC for providing financial support in the form of UGC-CRET fellowship. The authors are extremely grateful to Department of Science and Technology (DST-FIST), Government of India, New Delhi, for financial support to the Department of Biochemistry, University of Allahabad, India.


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Authors and Affiliations

  • Amit Kumar Singh
    • 1
  • Harvesh Kumar Rana
    • 1
  • Abhay K. Pandey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of AllahabadAllahabadIndia

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