Classic fungal natural products in the genomic age: the molecular legacy of Harold Raistrick
Covering: 1893 to 2017
Harold Raistrick was involved in the discovery of many of the most important classes of fungal metabolites during the 20th century. This review focusses on how these discoveries led to developments in isotopic labelling, biomimetic chemistry and the discovery, analysis and exploitation of biosynthetic gene clusters for major classes of fungal metabolites including: alternariol; geodin and metabolites of the emodin pathway; maleidrides; citrinin and the azaphilones; dehydrocurvularin; mycophenolic acid; and the tropolones. Key recent advances in the molecular understanding of these important pathways, including the discovery of biosynthetic gene clusters, the investigation of the molecular and chemical aspects of key biosynthetic steps, and the reengineering of key components of the pathways are reviewed and compared. Finally, discussion of key relationships between metabolites and pathways and the most important recent advances and opportunities for future research directions are given.