General Rubber dandelion as a local rubber source
In 2010, KeyGene, a biotech company based in Wageningen (NL), started breeding the rubber-containing dandelion (Taraxacum koksaghyz), a potential local rubber source for application in car tires, furniture, sportswear and footwear, and mechanical engineering. The root of the plant contains over 10% natural rubber. For cultivation optimization and scale-up, KeyGene set up a collaboration with ILVO in 2014 within the Drive4EU project.
We as breeders are working on plant material that provides a thicker taproot and a higher rubber content. ILVO in turn is investigating the possibility of a higher sowing density.
In the Drive4EU project, ILVO concentrated on the optimization and scaling up of cultivation, harvesting and storage technology. Results of this 4-year research are promising.
We managed to scale up the cultivation to 4 ha and are now ready for the next step to 100 and even 1000 ha.
ILVO and the Dutch research and breeding company KeyGene are already continuing their collaboration.
We strongly believe in the potential of rubber from the rubber dandelion and therefore continue to invest in the crop. Together with ILVO we are committed to the further optimization of the cultivation. Within a few years we want to bring suitable varieties to the market.
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