Yulex Corporation, an agricultural biomaterials company, has opened a Seed & Genetics Center focused on plant breeding, molecular genetics and development of agronomic best practices to support the global cultivation of sustainable guayule plantations for medical, consumer, industrial and bioenergy applications. Guayule is a renewable source of natural rubber that can replace petroleum-based synthetics, and requires low inputs.
Yulex’s Seed & Genetics Center will support the global commercial development of guayule. Guayule plant improvement strategies include novel, non-GMO cultivar development methods which bridge the gap between classical plant breeding approaches and modern molecular technologies; the combined program is designed to maximize plant productivity for large-scale deployment and commercial production of this important new industrial crop.
Additional research activities at the Center involve the refinement of sustainable production techniques designed to improve guayule’s rubber yield and quality through natural processes, with a focus on soil management and natural crop production inputs.
As part of Yulex’s global licensing program, which has started with Eni Group’s Versalis in Europe, licensees will have access to commercial quantities of guayule seeds developed by the Yulex Center to establish crops in new regions.
Yulex has the capability to rapidly expand, harvest and to clean commercial volumes of Certified Guayule Seed. Yulex and Yulex’s licensees plan significant global guayule acreage expansion. The Yulex Center will provide ongoing R&D, coordinate with local Universities in new growing areas, and support commercial guayule programs.
The Center directly administers and coordinates Yulex’s recently announced agricultural partnerships to improve guayule for commercial production. Work with the University of Arizona applies classical breeding to existing Yulex guayule lines and selected outliers. SGB provides an accelerated breeding program to develop new varieties that produce high yields of rubber under diverse environmental conditions.