Improving the fragrant harvest

Researchers from the University of Western Australia have identified the genes needed to produce the main constituents of sandalwood oil.

Sandalwood oil, which is highly sought after by the perfume industry and very valuable, is harvested wild or from sandalwood plantations, but the industry suffers from slow growth of trees and varying oil yields.

The new research lays the groundworks for the ultimate goal of producing sandalwood oil in yeast, as a sustainable alternative to traditional wild harvesting.

The identified genes could also be used as biomarkers to monitor the onset of sandalwood oil formation in trees.

Read more at University of Western Australia