Crop Biotech Update

International Group of Scientists Release Draft Sequence of Rubber Tree Genome

February 13, 2013

An international group of scientists have sequenced the draft genome of the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis, the world's major commercial source of natural rubber. The team has identified 12.7% of H. brasieliensis' 70,000 genes as unique, and outlined those which are associated with rubber biosynthesis, rubber wood formation, disease resistance, and allergenicity.

Rubber plays an important role in the world's economy, but the industry is affected by rubber blight, increasing global medical concern about natural rubber allergenicity. The team believes that the information will lead to better understanding of the rubber tree's latex and wood production, disease resistance and allergenicity, and help speed up the development of high-yielding varieties in the future.

The abstract and a provisional PDF of the full paper is available at the BMC Genomics website: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2164/14/75/abstract.