Characterization of Genes involved in the production of fragrant Sandalwood oil

Characterization of Genes involved in the production of fragrant Sandalwood oil

26th Sept., 2013. Sandalwood oil is one of the world’s most highly prized essential oils, available in many high-quality perfumes and fragrances, mainly of sesquiterpene olefins and alcohols. In a most recent article published in the September issue of PLoS,  ten researchers under the guidance of Jörg Bohlmann  with the help  of a ten transcriptome database of Santalum. album for candidate cytochrome P450 genes, have characterized  ten genes, namely, SaCYP76F37v1, SaCYP76F37v2,  SaCYP76F38v1, SaCYP76F38v2, SaCYP76F39v1, SaCYP76F39v2, SaCYP76F40, SaCYP76F41, SaCYP76F42, and SaCYP76F43. Nine of these genes encode santalene/bergamotene oxidases and bergamotene oxidases. Four sesquiterpenols, α-, β-, and epi-β-santalol and α-exo-bergamotol, make up approximately 90% of S. album oil. Nine of these genes were functionally characterized using in vitro assays and yeast in vivo assays to encode santalene/bergamotene oxidases and bergamotene oxidases. These results indicate that the production of sandalwood oil for the Aroma industry  is made on a large scale by means of metabolic engineering as demonstrated in engineered yeast cells which will ensure conservation. The discovery of these gene in sandalwood will go a long way to reduce  pressure on supply of sandalwood from native forests.

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