ST. LOUIS, Mo.—Kultevat L.L.C. has signed an exclusive license for technology developed by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to control gene expression in plants, including for applications in production of natural rubber in Russian dandelions (Taraxicum kok-saghyz or TKS).
The technology was developed under the direction of Roger Beachy, chief science officer at Kultevat and former president of the science center, and it is used to introduce natural genetic elements to plants for the purpose of closely controlling seed maturation and germination, the biotech company said.
“The gene expression control strategies applied to innovations in (the) Russian dandelion will significantly contribute to solving the worldwide need for increased natural rubber production and diversification of source,” according to Daniel R. Swiger, CEO of St. Louis-based Kultevat.
Until now, he continued, virtually all natural rubber has been derived from the Hevea tree, which only grows in a few areas of the world. TKS, on the other hand, can be grown to produce rubber in more than 40 U.S. states, he said.