Posted on February 08, 2017
Rubber from dandelions
In recent years the Russian dandelion Taraxacum koksaghyz, a previously neglected wild plant, has been investigated to be re-introduced as a valuable rubber crop that grows in moderate climates, like in Germany. The milky sap of the dandelion shows similarities to that of the rubber tree, and most importantly contains caoutchouc, the raw material for rubber production.
Together with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME, ESKUSA GmbH and hortilab, ecSeq GmbH will generate a high-resolution genetic map of Russian dandelion.
Dr. Christian Schulze Gronover (Fraunhofer IME) received the 2015 Joseph von Fraunhofer Prize for his work on the Russian dandelion and its application as a source of natural rubber. He is the coordinator of the project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
Dr. Fred Eickmeyer (ESKUSA GmbH) specialized on breeding of dandelion. He wants to optimize and establish Russian dandelion to an alternative raw material for natural rubber.