Mar 25, 2021

Natural Rubber from Sunflowers for Alternative Rubber Crops

…For some time now, David Woodburn has viewed sunflowers as hope for the future! Woodburn is CEO of Edison Agrosciences. In 2020, the St. Louis-based biotechnology startup produced its first sheet of natural rubber from sunflower leaves. The sunflower rubber was produced from sunflowers grown in a lab at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center. Woodburn said as far as he knows, it’s the world’s first sample of natural rubber produced from sunflower leaves. Edison Agrosciences used gene editing technology to increase a sunflower’s natural rubber production for extraction.

“Adding more rubber producing genes to the sunflower plant,” said Woodburn. “It’s not just natural rubber, but it’s also the type of natural rubber, like molecular weight. We may be able to design what type of natural rubber the plant produces by altering the genes.”…

Source: HEC

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