PHOENIX—Yulex Corp., developer of natural rubber from the desert shrub guayule, announced it is collaborating with agricultural biotechnology company SGB Inc. to establish a genomics and molecular breeding platform focused on accelerating crop improvement of guayule.
SGB's work on guayule will combine breeding and germplasm selection with genomic technologies, including high-throughout genotyping, genome-wide trait association studies, genomic selection and proprietary plant re-domestication methods, Yulex said. Genetic modification will not be part of SGB's activities, Yulex said.
Through its work, SGB will identify genomic markers that represent increased rubber yield and use that to produce new cultivars that maximize yield in commercial production, Yulex said. SGB also will implement new breeding strategies designed to accelerate the development of improved cultivars with higher rubber yield, consistency and stress tolerance, Yulex said.
"Our partnership will enable us to dramatically improve yield, reduce input costs and introduce new traits that will drive the deployment of guayule as a sustainable industrial crop on a global basis," said Jeffrey Martin, Yulex president and CEO.