The Beilstein Organic Chemistry Symposium 2015 was organized by Professor Jeroen Dickschat (University of Bonn) and took place in Prien am Chiemsee, Germany, during 28 – 30 September 2015. This year the symposium was inspired by two thematic issues about natural products published in the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry [1,2] and dedicated to the chemistry and biochemistry of these fascinating compounds. A total number of twenty invited speakers and three guest speakers contributed to the success of this international conference. The topics included: recent developments in the chemical ecology of natural products, the biosynthesis of polyketides and peptides, the biosynthesis of terpenoids, and new total synthesis approaches towards complex natural products.
Within the chemical ecology session, Professor Helge Bode (University of Frankfurt) reported on two novel quorum sensing signals from entomopathogenic bacteria with a pyrone and a dialkylresorcinol core structure and their involvement in the pathogenic mechanisms of the bacteria. Professor Jörn Piel gave detailed insights into the biosynthesis of polytheonamides in the sponge Entotheonella, which are highly unusual ribosomal peptides that are heavily methylated by radical SAM-dependent methyl transferases. The biosynthesis session was initiated by Professor Rolf Müller (Helmholtz-Centre for Pharmaceutical Research, Saarbrücken), who presented his recent work on griselimycin, a highly potent antibiotic against Mycobacterium tuberculosis from a streptomycete, and investigations on its resistance mechanism. In the synthesis session Professor Henk Hiemstra (University of Amsterdam) gave a summary of his work on the total synthesis of solanoeclepin A, a terpenoid from potatoes that is active against potato cyst nematodes, using photochemistry approaches.