The opening chapter presents an overview of strategies for the synthesis of several classes of natural products with an emphasis on complex polycyclic systems. Subsequent chapters discuss the synthesis of specific classes of compounds, including morphine, polyketides, acetogenins, nonactic acid derivatives, complex spirocyclic ethers, delta-lactam and pyridone derivatives, inositol phosphates, sphingolipids, brassinosteroids, Hernandia lignans, and dimeric steroidal pyrazine alkaloids. Structure determination and biological function provide additional themes through many of these chapters. Structure is discussed more exclusively in chapters on liverwort desquiterpenoids, gymnemic acids, compounds of the Celastraceae plant family, fungal and protozoan gylcolipids, and coumarins. Finally, the ever stronger links between chemistry and biology are reinforced by chapters on the origin and function of secondary metabolites, bioactive conformations of gastrin hormones, and immunochemistry.
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