Natural products are an invaluable source of new drugs as they constitute more than two-thirds of clinically used antibiotics and 50% of anticancer drugs. Fungi
produce many secondary metabolites which display high bioactivity. For example, toxic ergot alkaloids produced by filamentous fungi growing on rye poisoned
thousands of people and livestock throughout the Middle Ages. However, their later medicinal applications, followed by the discovery of the first class of antibiotics,
penicillins and other drugs of fungal origin, such as peptidic natural products, terpenoids or polyketides, have altered the historically negative reputation of fungal
“toxins”. The development of new antimicrobial drugs is currently a major global challenge, mainly due to antimicrobial resistance phenomena. Therefore, the
structures, biosynthesis and antimicrobial activity of selected fungal natural products will be presented.
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