Barenbrug and KeyGene start joint venture using dandelions for sustainable natural rubber production
Barenbrug family and research company KeyGene have joined forces to develop and
produce rubber dandelion varieties and establish the sustainable production of
natural rubber in Europe under the name Lion-Flex.
With KeyGene contributing high yielding breeding lines, knowledge, expertise and technology, the new joint venture has a strong starting position. Lion-Flex will be able to build on and benefit from the plant breeding expertise and seed production infrastructure of the Royal Barenbrug Group.
The Dutch plant research company KeyGene has performed over ten years of studies & research into the development of rubber dandelions. This research was carried out together with partners such as Wageningen University & Research and organisations in Kazakhstan, the original habitat of the wild rubber dandelion (Taraxacum kok-saghyz).
In less than ten years, scientists from KeyGene have successfully bred from wild rubber dandelion – an undomesticated plant with low rubber yield – lines and varieties that are economically and technically (as good as) ready for production in Europe.
The Barenbrug family, owners and driving force behind the globally operating Barenbrug plant breeding company, fully supports innovation and sustainability. They
The demand for natural rubber is increasing worldwide. Rubber is currently still mainly derived from rubber trees, the acreage of which can only be expanded by converting rainforest into agricultural land – an unsustainable approach in the long run. In addition, cultivation is threatened by leaf blight, a fungal disease that to date remains limited to South America.
All these factors create insecurity with regard to availability and pricing, the risk of shortages and potentially unsustainable solutions involving the continued destruction of the rainforest. This was the reason why the European
Source: Keygene (press release)