ST. LOUIS, Oct. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Kultevat Inc. (St. Louis, MO) and KeyGene Inc. (Wageningen, The Netherlands) have extended their research collaboration to produce natural rubber in roots of dandelion plants for the sustainable production of natural rubber. The renewed collaboration builds on breakthroughs in plant breeding by KeyGene, expanded planting by Kultevat, and improved rubber extraction technologies. The collaboration includes commercial growing of hybrid rubber dandelion plants that will increase per acre production of natural rubber in North America.
A Novel Crop: Flexilis® Hybrid Significant milestones have been reached in KeyGene’s rubber dandelion development program. Using molecular breeding technologies KeyGene has, for the first time, combined the capacity of the Kazakh dandelion plant (Taraxacum koksaghyz) to produce high levels of rubber, with the well-known vigorous growth potential of the common Dutch dandelion plant (Taraxacum officinale). A novel interspecific hybrid crop “Flexilis® hybrid” has been developed; the hybrid produces the same amount of high quality rubber per gram of root tissue as the much smaller Kazakh dandelion plants. Simultaneously a high performing variant of the Kazakh dandelion Flexilis® plus has been developed, ready for large scale production of dandelion roots.
Kultevat is a strategic KeyGene partner for exploitation of the novel dandelion varieties in North America. The Kultevat team has developed cultivation practices for the dandelion crop and initiated the first production fields at various locations in the USA. Initial results confirm the ability of this crop to deliver a profitable rubber business. In addition the Kultevat team has developed a highly efficient rubber extraction method that can be scaled to factory level. The next goal of Kultevat is to produce sufficient amounts of dandelion rubber for the development of various natural rubber applications. (read more)