Australian shrub contains new class of organic compound

(Kanazawa University) A Japanese research team led by Kanazawa University analyzed the structure of six natural products from an Australian shrub, Cryptocarya laevigata. The compounds contained a spiro[3.5]nonane moiety — cyclohexene sharing a single carbon with cyclobutane — never previously seen in nature, as well as a lactone. The cyclobutane ring is possibly biosynthesized from two dissimilar alkenes, which is rare. The absolute configuration (chirality) remains unclear, but the team is working on synthesis to allow biological activity testing.