HOME ABOUT CONTACT AVAILABLE ISSUES SUBSCRIBE MEDIA & ADS CONFERENCE CALENDAR
LATEST UPDATES » Vol 21, No 11, November 2017 – Paediatric Illnesses       » Breakthrough new rice variety announced in Northern China       » Ebola vaccine approved in China       » Study reveals anti-cancer properties of a fungus used in traditional medicine       » Chinese scientists create genetically modified low-fat pigs       » China, Brazil and Russia are riskiest markets for compliance and regulation       » Why are Korean eggs salmonella-free?      
BIOBOARD - SINGAPORE
Cancer scientists crack the durian genome
Scientists from Singapore have mapped the complete genetic blueprint of durian, known in Asia as the “king of fruits”. Infamous for its pungent and polarizing aroma, durian is well-known to ignite opposing passions of devotion or revulsion in different individuals.

Scientists from the Humphrey Oei Institute of Cancer Research, National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) and Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore have achieved a world’s first by deciphering the complete genetic map of durian - a prized tropical fruit delicacy known in Asia as the “king of fruits”. The Singapore team’s efforts were driven by both innate scientific curiosity and a love of the fruit, and funded by private donations from anonymous durian devotees.

“Being a geneticist, I was naturally curious about the Durian genome- what gene causes its pungent smell? How did its spiny husk arise?” said study co-lead author Professor Teh Bin Tean, a durian lover and currently the Deputy Director of the National Cancer Centre Singapore.

Using state-of-the-art sequencing platforms, the team mapped the genome of a particular durian variety called Musang King (“Mao Shan Wang” in Chinese), known for its exceptionally delicate texture and potent aroma and considered as the King of Kings in the local durian world. The team’s analysis revealed that the durian genome comprises approximately 46,000 genes – almost double that in humans who have about 23,000 genes. Based on the newly generated genomic data, the team also studied the evolution of durian and traced its relationship 65 million years back to the cacao plant which is used in chocolate.

The team also focused on the million dollar question - “What causes the durian’s notorious smell?” By comparing gene activity patterns from different parts of the durian plant, including leaves, roots, and ripening fruits, they identified a class of genes called MGLs (methionine gamma lyases) that regulate the production of odour compounds called volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs).

“Our analysis revealed that VSC production is turbocharged in durian fruits, which fits with many people’s opinions that durian smell has a ‘sulphury’ aspect,” said co-lead author Professor Patrick Tan from Duke-NUS Medical School. The team speculates that in the wild, the ability of durians to produce high VSC levels and a pungent smell may be important in attracting animals to eat and disperse durian seeds to other regions.

Published in the prestigious journal Nature Genetics, the team has donated the Durian genome data to the Singapore National Parks Board, where they hope it will spur further durian research and education in Singapore and the region. The team also looks forward to working with botanists and conservation experts to study other plants, especially those endangered in the region due to increasing deforestation and industrialization.

Source: National Cancer Centre Singapore and Duke-NUS Medical School

Click here for the complete issue.

NEWS CRUNCH  
news Novogen becomes Kazia Therapeutics
news Transforming healthcare through innovation: addressing unmet healthcare needs in Asia Pacific
news 77% of healthcare leaders believe they need to be a digital business to succeed: Microsoft study
PR NEWSWIRE  
Asia Pacific Biotech News
EDITORS' CHOICE  

Lady Ganga: Nilza'S Story
COLUMNS  
Subscribe to APBN E-Newsletter
Find us under 'Others' option to receive APBN e-newsletters thrice a month!

APBN Editorial Calendar 2017
January:
Healthcare Focus: LUNGS
February:
War on CANCER
March:
Get to Know TCM
April:
Diabetes: The Big Picture
May:
The Piece of Your Mind - Brain Health/Science
June:
Advocacies in Support of Rare Disease Patients
July:
Food Science & Technology
August:
Eye – the Window to your Soul
September:
Infectious Diseases
October:
A change of heart — Cardiovascular diseases
November:
Paediatric Illnesses
December:
Skin Diseases/Allergic Reactions
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
MAGAZINE TAGS
About Us
Events
Available issues
Editorial Board
Letters to Editor
Instructions to Authors
Advertise with Us
CONTACT
World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd.
5 Toh Tuck Link, Singapore 596224
Tel: 65-6466-5775
Fax: 65-6467-7667
» For Editorial Enquiries:
   biotech_edit@wspc.com or Ms Lim Guan Yu
» For Subscriptions, Advertisements &
   Media Partnerships Enquiries:
   biotech_ad@wspc.com
Copyright© 2017 World Scientific Publishing Co Pte Ltd  •  Privacy Policy