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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Development of Crops To Produce Industrially Useful Natural Rubber

Authors
item Whalen, Maureen
item Xie, Wenshuang - UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA
item McMahan, Colleen
item Shintani, David - UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 5, 2007
Publication Date: April 30, 2007
Citation: Whalen, M.C., Xie, W., Mcmahan, C.M., Shintani, D. 2007. Development of Crops To Produce Industrially Useful Natural Rubber. Terpnet 2007.

Interpretive Summary: Natural rubber, cis-1,4-polyisoprene, is an essential industrial commodity that most developed countries have to import. Hevea brasiliensis, grown in tropical and subtropical areas is the primary source of natural rubber. The goal of our work is to develop rubber-producing crops suitable for cultivation in temperate climates. The high quality and quantity of the rubber have motivated us to focus on two temperate plant species, guayule (Parthenium argentatum) and Russian dandelion (Taraxacum koks-saghyz). Guayule produces rubber in parenchyma cells in bark, whereas, in Russian dandelion rubber is produced in lacticifers in roots. We are studying rubber production in these two species. In both, rubber is synthesized on subcellular vesicles called rubber particles. Purified rubber particles alone contain all necessary factors for rubber production. Using proteomic approaches, we have identified proteins associated with rubber particles. Fewer proteins are associated with guayule rubber particles than with those in Russian dandelion or Hevea. We have completed sequencing of EST libraries from guayule bark and Russian dandelion roots and comparative analysis of them is underway. The protein and EST identifications have guided our analysis of temporal expression patterns of genes associated with optimal rubber biosynthesis.

Technical Abstract: Natural rubber, cis-1,4-polyisoprene, is an essential industrial commodity that most developed countries have to import. Hevea brasiliensis, grown in tropical and subtropical areas is the primary source of natural rubber. The goal of our work is to develop rubber-producing crops suitable for cultivation in temperate climates. The high quality and quantity of the rubber have motivated us to focus on two temperate plant species, guayule (Parthenium argentatum) and Russian dandelion (Taraxacum koks-saghyz). Guayule produces rubber in parenchyma cells in bark, whereas, in Russian dandelion rubber is produced in lacticifers in roots. We are studying rubber production in these two species. In both, rubber is synthesized on subcellular vesicles called rubber particles. Purified rubber particles alone contain all necessary factors for rubber production. Using proteomic approaches, we have identified proteins associated with rubber particles. Fewer proteins are associated with guayule rubber particles than with those in Russian dandelion or Hevea. We have completed sequencing of EST libraries from guayule bark and Russian dandelion roots and comparative analysis of them is underway. The protein and EST identifications have guided our analysis of temporal expression patterns of genes associated with optimal rubber biosynthesis.

Last Modified: 7/23/2014
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