Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Dandelions can be a Good Source of Rubber, Study Reveals


(Photo : REUTERS/INA FASSBENDER) A piece of rubber made from dandelion plants is seen at the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology (IME) in Muenster.

Dandelions are not just an ordinary flower but could possibly be able to produce a necessary product such as rubber. This has been the main reason on why there is a big interest and becomes the center of attention for most rubber-producing industry. It can still be a big question on how a rubber can be formed using a dandelion.

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A team of scientists was able to provide answer and identified that proteins present plays a key role in producing a rubber in the plant. In other words, the biotechnological production of rubbers can happen soon. The milky fluid that contains the rubber produces through special cells in the dandelion.

Biosynthesis is responsible for the formation on which the rubber is considered as a protein complex which is located on a surface so-called rubber particle. The particles are full of polyisoprene which is the main component of rubber and surrounded by a protective coating.

Scientists behind the study assume that protein is very necessary in forming the rubber-producing protein complex. Another study was done with the use of a substantial input that comes from researchers from IME and Munster University, they give emphasis on how important protein in forming the long chains of polyisoprene. The polymers are the main reason for rubbers to have its elasticity and resilience.

"Dandelions have become well-known recently in particular as a result of applied research. Now we are pleased to have some news again from the field of basic research: we have been able to identify no fewer than two key components of rubber biosynthesis," said Dr. Christian Schulze Gronover of IME, Munster branch), head of research.

Their findings were published in the journal Nature Plants.

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