Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry (Feb 2023)

Germacrene B – a central intermediate in sesquiterpene biosynthesis

  • Houchao Xu,
  • Jeroen S. Dickschat

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 19, no. 1
pp. 186 – 203


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Germacranes are important intermediates in the biosynthesis of eudesmane and guaiane sesquiterpenes. After their initial formation from farnesyl diphosphate, these neutral intermediates can become reprotonated for a second cyclisation to reach the bicyclic eudesmane and guaiane skeletons. This review summarises the accumulated knowledge on eudesmane and guaiane sesquiterpene hydrocarbons and alcohols that potentially arise from the achiral sesquiterpene hydrocarbon germacrene B. Not only compounds isolated from natural sources, but also synthetic compounds are dicussed, with the aim to give a rationale for the structural assignment for each compound. A total number of 64 compounds is presented, with 131 cited references.