The biotechnological relevance of ergot alkaloids is due to their therapeutical use, unquestionable. On the other hand, they play very important role as toxins in agricultural industry as products of endophytic fungi of the genus Neotyphodium and their production is coupled with serious problems of livestock grazing infected grasses. These two examples show the importance of molecular genetics of alkaloid biosynthesis. It could help, on one side, to develop new strategies for rational designing of ergot alkaloid based drugs, and, on the other one, to understand and control the production of ergot alkaloids by endophytic fungi. The following points need more attention for modern production of ergot alkaloids and its semisynthetic derivatives: (a) shortening of the initial nonproductive phase of alkaloid fermentation, (b) immobilization of cells, (c) construction of plasmids which can carry selectable markers, (d) the development of transformation systems with drug resistance markers, (e) study of membrane processes and vacuoles in the productive organism, (f) use of mathematical modeling for description of phenomenon observed during culture growth and alkaloid production, and (g) further development of solid state fermentation and application of oxygen vectors.
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