Chemical studies of the plant category of mosses (bryophytes) were neglected for a long time. They have now been shown to be a storehouse of naturally occurring materials, including some with novel chemical structures. Many of these materials display considerable biological activity. Investigations are hampered frequently by too small amounts of plant material. The resulting low yields of components are then generally inadequate to permit testing for biological activity. In vitro culture and appropriate chemical synthesis on a preparative scale are being undertaken to overcome this difficulty.
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