Plants generate phytoalexins, which are antimicrobial chemicals with a low molecular weight that are synthesized in response to biotic and abiotic stresses. The rate and amount of their accumulation are controlled by the release of immediate precursors from conjugates or de novo synthesis, as well as detoxification by plant or microbial enzymes. Phytoalexin is part of a battery of induced defensive mechanisms that include lytic enzymes like glucanases and chitinases, cell wall lignifications, oxidising agents, and a range of pathogenesis-related (PR) proteins and transcripts with unknown activities (Lamb et al., 1989 Dixon and Lamb, 1990). It's important to remember that phytoalexin production is just one part of a complex defence mechanism in which anyone component may not be enough to keep pathogens at bay (Mansfield, 1999). In this review, we will focus on the description of secondary metabolites that the plant accumulates in response to pathogen invasion, both naturally occurring and pathogen-induced, with a particular focus on their biological role against microorganisms and biotechnological value as potential antimicrobials in plant protection and human health.