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Published on July 22, 2008

Unraveling the Mystery of Natural Rubber Biosynthesis

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Date Published July 22, 2008

This Report has been authored by:Judit Puskas, Ph.D. at The University of Akron

Natural rubber (NR) is primarily obtained from Hevea brasiliensis, commonly known as the Brazilian rubber tree. As this species contains little genetic variation, it is susceptible to pathogen-based eradication. Consequently, it is imperative that a biomimetic pathway for NR production be developed. Puskas et al. recently proposed that NR biosynthesis proceeds via a carbocationic polymerization mechanism. Based on this theory, a general mechanism termed “Natural Living Carbocationic Polymerization” (NLCP) was developed.