How plants make drugs
Research report (imported) 2020 - Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
Plants produce an enormous number of complex molecules. These compounds play various roles in the plants’ natural environment. Many of these compounds are also used in both traditional and modern medicine; some have even life-saving properties like the anti-cancer drug vinblastine from the Madagascar periwinkle. Our aim is to elucidate the fundamental chemical, biological and evolutionary processes that underlie the biosynthesis of these complex molecules in order to be able to optimize the production of these compounds using synthetic biology.