By Jens Nielsen
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Generally, the function of each plant secondary metabolite is different. Figure 1 shows terpenoids as an extremely fascinating example; they are present in all organisms but are especially abundant in plants, with more than 30 000 compounds reported to date [9–11]. Terpenoids are the most functionally and structurally diverse group of plant natural products that include diterpenoid alkaloids, sterols, triterpene saponins, and related structures. The most basic function of triterpenes is to give membranes stability, such as βsitosterol (1 in Fig.
82 . . . . . . . . . . . . . Abstract This chapter proposes the concept of rational manipulation of secondary metabolite heterogeneity in plant cell cultures. The heterogeneity of plant secondary metabolites is a very interesting and important issue because these structure-similar natural products have different biological activities. Both taxoids and ginsenosides are two kinds of preeminent examples in the enormous reservoir of pharmacologically valuable heterogeneous molecules in the plant kingdom.