CARLSBAD, Calif. (Nov. 1) — Yulex Corp. and the Agricultural Research Service within the U.S. Department of Agriculture have signed a two-year cooperative research and development agreement to increase the rubber latex yield of guayule, a Southwestern desert shrub.
Scientists from Yulex and USDA will work on transforming existing high-yield guayule strains with rubber biosynthesis genes. The effort is designed to make guayule more competitive against Hevea rubber latex in the medical products field, according to a Yulex press release.
Carlsbad-based Yulex holds the exclusive license to the USDA process for extracting hypoallergenic latex from guayule. Katrina Cornish, the agency scientist who headed the team that created the process, now works for Yulex as its senior vice president of research and development.