The draft genome of tropical fruit durian (Durio zibethinus)

Nat Genet. 2017 Nov;49(11):1633-1641. doi: 10.1038/ng.3972. Epub 2017 Oct 9.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acids, Cyclic / biosynthesis
  • Bombacaceae / classification
  • Bombacaceae / genetics*
  • Bombacaceae / growth & development
  • Bombacaceae / metabolism
  • Carbon-Sulfur Lyases / genetics*
  • Carbon-Sulfur Lyases / metabolism
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Fruit / genetics*
  • Fruit / growth & development
  • Fruit / metabolism
  • Genome, Plant*
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Ligases / genetics
  • Ligases / metabolism
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics
  • Phylogeny
  • Plant Proteins / genetics*
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism
  • Sulfur / metabolism
  • Transcriptome*
  • Volatile Organic Compounds / metabolism


  • Amino Acids, Cyclic
  • Plant Proteins
  • Volatile Organic Compounds
  • 1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylic acid
  • Sulfur
  • Carbon-Sulfur Lyases
  • L-methionine gamma-lyase
  • Ligases