Biotech Updates

Study Reveals Key Genes of Sandalwood

September 25, 2013

Researchers from the University of Western Australia (UWA) and University of British Columbia (UBC) discovered the key genes that produce sandalwood oil, a valuable essential oil. The high demand for this essential oil has caused the decrease of sandalwood populations over the past centuries. Thus, this gene discovery has the potential to improve the essential oil's fragrance as well as it conservation.

"These results provide a foundation for the production of sandalwood oil by means of metabolic engineering," said UWA's Dr. Liz Barbour, one of the co-authors of the paper. "Presently sandalwood oil, extracted from the heartwood in tree stems and roots, is highly sought after by the fragrance and perfume industry. This discovery will open new nutraceutical and medicinal markets," she added.