Scientists Develop Rubber-Enriched Dandelion through Metabolic EngineeringFebruary 15, 2017
Natural rubber (NR) is an important raw material for industrial products, with the primary source being the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis. However, increased global demand means that alternative sources are required. The Russian dandelion (Taraxacum koksaghyz) is a potential alternative due to large amounts of NR produced in its root system. However, rubber synthesis must be improved in dandelion for it to be a feasible alternate. T. koksaghyz also produces large amounts of the carbohydrate inulin, which is stored in parenchymal root cell vacuoles near the phloem.
Scientist Anna Stolze of the University of Muenster in Germany and colleagues performed a comprehensive analysis of inulin and NR metabolism in T. koksaghyz and its relative T. brevicorniculatum and characterized the enzyme fructan 1-exohydrolase (1-FEH), which catalyzes the degradation of inulin to fructose and sucrose. Overexpression of Tk1-FEH almost doubled the rubber content in the roots of two dandelion species without any negative effect on the plant since it degraded stored inulin to boost NR production.
This is the first study showing that the reserve carbohydrate inulin can be used to promote the synthesis of NR in dandelions.
For more on this study, read the article in Plant Biotechnology Journal.
The Crop Biotech Update is a weekly newsletter of ISAAA, a non-for-profit organization. The CBU is distributed for free to over 23,000 subscribers worldwide to inform them about the key developments in biosciences, especially in agricultural biotechnology. Your support will help us in our mission to feed the world with knowledge. You can help by donating as little as $10.
See more articles:
News from Around the World
- Church Leaders in Nigeria Support Agri-Biotech Research
- Researchers Discover New Link in Fight Against Billion-Dollar Threat to Soybean
- Mutant Maize Has Key Information to Understanding Plant Growth
- Scientists Explain How Plants Resist Drought
- Researchers Sequence Quinoa Genome
- Scientists to Test GE Bananas Resistant to TR4 in the Northern Territory, Australia
- Australian OGTR Issues License for Field Trial of GM Indian Mustard
- Research Explains Plant Tissues' Sense of Direction
- Scientists Develop Rubber-Enriched Dandelion through Metabolic Engineering
Plant Breeding Innovations
- Researchers Review Targeted Genome Editing Techniques in Horticultural Crops
Beyond Crop Biotech
- First Gene Drive in Mammals Could Help Eradicate Invasive Rodents
- Knockdown of Mythimna separata Chitinase Genes via Oral delivery of RNAi effectors
- BIO International Convention
- Plant Transformation & Biotechnology IV
- Genome Editing and the Future of Farming
Subscribe to CBU: