Phytochemicals are substances produced mainly by plants, and these substances have biological activity. In the pharmaceutical industry, plants represent the main source to obtain various active ingredients. They exhibit pharmacological effects applicable to the treatment of bacterial and fungal infections and also chronic-degenerative diseases such as diabetes and cancer. However, the next step in science is to find new ways to obtain it. In this chapter, we discuss about the main groups of phytochemicals, in addition to presenting two case studies. One of the most important secondary metabolites is currently Taxol, which is a natural compound of the taxoid family and is also known for its antitumor activity against cancer located in breasts, lungs, and prostate and is also effective with Kaposi’s sarcoma. Our case studies will be about Taxol, extracted from an unexplored plant species, and the production of Taxol by its endophytic fungi.
Part of the book: Phytochemicals