UCalgary scientists make natural rubber breakthrough

And it sounds like not a moment too soon. Current natural rubber is reliant on a single type of tree located in a single area and is thus at risk of being lost in a natural disaster osuch as disease.

Those accepted findings, which were published in the prestigious Journal of Biological Chemistry last week, represent the first natural biosynthetic model for rubber production in more than half a century.

“Nobody knew how natural rubber is synthesized in plants so we decided to use lettuce as a model system. We found it produces very high quality natural rubber but of a very low quantity,” said Ro.