Kultevat, KeyGene announce breakthrough in Russian dandelion latex

RubberNews.com, March 26, 2014

ST. LOUIS—Kultevat, a St. Louis-based biotech company, and KeyGene, a molecular genetics company based in the Netherlands, have announced the joint development of the first genetic lines of Russian dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz) that can be tested and used for latex extraction.

In April 2013, Kultevat and KeyGene signed an agreement to develop, breed and test Russian dandelions for natural rubber production, the companies said in a joint press release.

Following a rigorous breeding strategy incorporating its molecular and DNA tools, KeyGene succeeded in producing improved Russian dandelion varieties with superior agronomic performance, latex quality and latex yields, the companies said.

Kultevat will conduct the testing, cultivation and production program through its new U.S. research and development facility in St. Louis, they said.

Meanwhile, KeyGene also has cross-bred Russian and European dandelions to produce new breeding material with increased vigor and taproot size, according to the companies. (read more)