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Chemistry of Natural Products

Sujata V. Bhat, Bhimsen A. Nagasampagi, Meenakshi Sivakumar

Hardcover, 840 Pages
First Edition - 2005
ISBN: 3-540-40669-7
Springer, Berlin


During the last few decades, research into natural products has advanced tremendously thanks to contributions from the fields of chemistry, life sciences, food science and material sciences. Comparisons of natural products from microorganisms, lower eukaryotes, animals, higher plants and marine organisms are now well documented. This book provides an easy-to-read overview of natural products. It includes twelve chapters covering most of the aspects of natural products chemistry. Each chapter covers general introduction, nomenclature, occurrence, isolation, detection, structure elucidation both by degradation and spectroscopic techniques, biosynthesis, synthesis, biological activity and commercial applications, if any, of the compounds mentioned in each topic. Therefore it will be useful for students, other researchers and industry. The introduction to each chapter is brief and attempts only to supply general knowledge in the particular field. Furthermore, at the end of each chapter there is a list of recommended books for additional study and a list of relevant questions for practice.

Editorial Review

“Chemistry of Natural Products” is a substantial tome that enlightens the reader regarding the classes of natural products (occurrence, biosynthesis, analytical methods), but also describes individual compounds in these classes in detail. Thus, one finds IR, NMR and UV data for some structures, along with commentary on the structure elucidation by means of degradation reactions. A selection of total syntheses complements this information.

This book is compelling with its extensive presentation of the natural product classes and the multitude of individual compounds. Simply on the basis of the purification and analytical methods (from TLC [color reagents], to HPLC, GC, and MPLC), and the spectroscopic data, “Chemistry of Natural Products” is a valuable resource, and is an ideal reference work. Special chapters on marine natural products, antibacterial compounds and hormones place the focus on current areas of research, and are simply worth reading for someone wishing to become familiar with the field.

However, the work has a pronounced textbook quality, especially as the authors have succeeded in delving deeply into their commentaries in the corresponding chapters. Thus in the section on amino acids and proteins, one finds examples of enzymes (including their use in industrial processes), immunoglobulins, plasma proteins, and even their synthesis in the laboratory, complete with a tabulated summary of protecting groups. This interdisciplinary character of the monograph makes it especially useful, as it exposes both biologists and chemists to some of the know-how from the other’s field. However, “Chemistry of Natural Products” cannot be expected to replace other textbooks; for example, the total syntheses are described quite tersely, little beyond a listing of the synthetic steps.

With such abundant information content, the text’s use in teaching would require extensive selections to be made. In any case, the book’s true value is as a reference work. A minor deficiency tempers the overall positive appraisal: a few of the structural diagrams do not reflect current standards of quality, and contain some obvious errors. This weakness can be forgiven in light of the wealth of information presented, and anyone with an interest in this enthralling interdisciplinary field is well-advised to take a close look at this book.


Steroids.- Terpenoids.- Fatty Lipids and Prostaglandins.- Alkaloid.- Amino Acids and Proteins.- Nucleic Acids.- Carbohydrates.- Plant and Insect Growth Regulators.- Phenolic Compounds and Natural Dyes.- Marine Natural Products.- Antibacterials.- Vitamins and Hormones.