There is a consensus that plants are great sources of metabolites with a broad variety of functions. This is particularly
important because plants cannot run away from environmental conditions that can threat their existence. The numerous
biological activities exhibited by plant natural products prompted humanity to use such substances or their derivatives
for the treatment and/or prevention of diseases. The more we know the flora around the world the higher is the chance
to find new lead compounds for the design of more potent drugs or nutraceuticals. This review first deals with Brazilian
flora, contextualizing the most studied medicinal species and related patents. It also describes a compilation of relevant
works based on the use of stress conditions to enhance the biosynthesis of valuable metabolites in cell cultures, tissue cultures
(hairy roots) and whole plants by using native or crop plants around the world.
Keywords: Plant cell culture, tissue culture, abiotic and biotic stress, natural products, pharmaceuticals.
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