10 Oct '17, 8am

Genetic secrets behind the durian's distinctive smell revealed:

Sanjit Das/Bloomberg via Getty Images The durian is prized - and hated - for its pungent, sulfury smell. Some people adore it; others abhor it. Now, the tropical durian (Durio zibethinus ) has had its genome sequenced — and the analysis reveals exactly what’s responsible for the fruit’s distinctive stench. The sequence, reported by researchers in Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong, should also allow scientists to identify genes involved in disease resistance and drought tolerance, the team says, as well as flavour profiles. This information is important to growers in southeast Asia, where the durian is a major crop. Although highly popular as a food, the large, spiny, tropical durian is banned from hotels and public transport in Singapore and Malaysia , because of its penetratingly pungent odour. “It has been described as decaying onion-like, rotten eggs, sulfury, and like ...

Full article: http://www.nature.com/news/how-the-durian-got-its-sulfuri...

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