After 20-odd years of work, a research team headed by Prof. Sun Handong at the CAS Kunming Institute of Botany (KIB) has become a world research center for diterpenoids of Rabdosia plants, a natural product which has received a great deal of attention because of its antibacterial and antineoplastic properties.
Prof. Sun Handong and his colleagues at State Key Laboratory of Phytochemistry and Plant Resources in west China at KIB took the lead in research into ent-kaurane diterpenoids of the Rabdosia family in this country as early as in 1976. Now the researchers have identified and isolated more than 300 new diterpenoids from 48 species in the family, accounting for over 60% of the world total both in terms of plants studied and new diterpenoid findings from them.
The researchers have been credited with two basic skeleton frameworks of ent-kaurane diterpenoids of the five discovered so far in the world and for half of the 22 structures of the existing diterpenoids. Furthermore, the team has found a series of compounds with novel structures.
Their work has been honored with a First Prize of 2002 Provincial Award for Natural Science in Yunnan.