Natural Products Research in South Africa: End of an Era on Land or the Beginning of an Endless Opportunity in the Sea?
South African organic chemistry is deeply rooted in a rich history of natural product chemistry research with the secondary metabolites emanating from South Africa’s unique floral kingdoms dominating this research for nearly a century. However, South Africa’s terrestrial biodiversity is exceeded by an even greater diversity of marine flora and fauna occurring off its coast, which remain a relatively untapped source of novel biomolecules with unrealized pharmaceutical and agrochemical potential. Examples of the seemingly endless opportunities arising from exploration of the diverse bioactivities of South African plant and marine natural products, together with their semi-synthetic analogues, are presented here.
Keywords: Marine Natural Products, Diterpenes