Biochemistry of Secondary Metabolism


The aims of the course are: to describe the most important groups of secondary compounds, their synthesis and ecological role to familiarise students with the main reaction pathways responsible for the biosynthesis of secondary compounds to understand the basic enzymatic reaction mechanisms to highlight the importance of secondary compounds and to present current bottlenecks in their production for human use


Basic knowledge of general and organic chemistry and basic understanding of metabolism in cells.

Learning Outcomes

After completing the course, attendees will be able to: Know enzyme biochemistry basics read and understand biosynthetic pathways know the most important groups of secondary compounds know about the effect of these compounds understand how secondary compounds are formed understand the basic ecological roles of secondary compounds and the complexity of the (chemical) interactions between organisms understand the importance of these compounds for man


Basic biochemistry of amino acids, proteins, enzymes.  Enzyme activity and regulation.  Definition(s) of secondary metabolism and secondary metabolites.  Classification of secondary metabolites.  Basic metabolic pathways for secondary metabolites synthesis.  Terpenoids, Alkaloids, Phenylpropanoids:  Properties and basic functions.  Example compounds of the three classes of 2ary metabolites.  Emerging science on the field.

Content Delivery

The backbone of the units will be lectures, complemented by discussions, problem solving sessions, and repetition units.

Coursework And Assignment Details

Written examination with equally weighted problems and questions covering analytically and synthetically the lectures and the reading material