• 1 Thorn Biosystems Pte Ltd, Singapore
  • 2 Program in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore
  • 3 Laboratory of Cancer Epigenome, Division of Medical Science, National Cancer Centre singapore, Singapore
  • 4 Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • 5 Metabolites Biology Laboratory, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  • 6 Global Databank, Singapore
  • 7 Verdant Foundation, Hong Kong
  • 8 Samsoney Group, Johor Bahru, Malaysia
  • 9 Genome Institute of Singapore, Singapore
Nat. Genet., 2017 Nov;49(11):1633-1641.
PMID: 28991254 DOI: 10.1038/ng.3972


Durian (Durio zibethinus) is a Southeast Asian tropical plant known for its hefty, spine-covered fruit and sulfury and onion-like odor. Here we present a draft genome assembly of D. zibethinus, representing the third plant genus in the Malvales order and first in the Helicteroideae subfamily to be sequenced. Single-molecule sequencing and chromosome contact maps enabled assembly of the highly heterozygous durian genome at chromosome-scale resolution. Transcriptomic analysis showed upregulation of sulfur-, ethylene-, and lipid-related pathways in durian fruits. We observed paleopolyploidization events shared by durian and cotton and durian-specific gene expansions in MGL (methionine γ-lyase), associated with production of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). MGL and the ethylene-related gene ACS (aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid synthase) were upregulated in fruits concomitantly with their downstream metabolites (VSCs and ethylene), suggesting a potential association between ethylene biosynthesis and methionine regeneration via the Yang cycle. The durian genome provides a resource for tropical fruit biology and agronomy.

* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.