top of page

Groundbreaking CRISPR Innovation Boosts Rubber Dandelion Yield, Promising a Sustainable Future for Rubber Production

Explore the groundbreaking application of CRISPR/Cas9 technology in unlocking the potential of rubber dandelions to revolutionize the rubber industry. Discover the sustainable future of natural rubber production.

Groundbreaking CRISPR Innovation Boosts Rubber Dandelion Yield, Promising a Sustainable Future for Rubber Production

Imagine a future where the rubber beneath your feet, the tires that transport you, and countless everyday objects are sourced not from vast, vulnerable forests, but from a plant that might just be growing in your backyard. This is not a distant dream but an imminent reality, thanks to a groundbreaking application of CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing technology. Researchers have unlocked the potential of the rubber dandelion, a humble plant poised to revolutionize the rubber industry.

A Leap Towards Sustainability

The quest for an alternative source of natural rubber has been long and fraught with challenges. The Para rubber tree, Hevea brasiliensis, the current primary source, is mired in production issues, including susceptibility to diseases. Enter the rubber dandelion, Taraxacum kok-saghyz, a beacon of hope with its resilience and the promise of temperate cultivation. However, its potential was hindered by slow growth and low yield—until now. By targeting the inulin biosynthesis pathway with CRISPR/Cas9, researchers have paved the way for increased natural rubber production. The pioneering study, led by Dr. Cornish and her team, signifies a major stride in the quest for a diversified rubber supply.


The CRISPR/Cas9 system, a tool that has revolutionized genetic engineering, was employed to edit the 1-fructan:fructan-1-fructosyl transferase gene (1-FFT) in rubber dandelion. This precise manipulation aims to boost rubber yield by redirecting carbon resources towards rubber production instead of inulin, a storage carbohydrate. The implications of this are profound, offering a solution to the competition between rubber and inulin production within the plant. The success of this approach could herald a new era of crop improvement, with significant benefits for the rubber industry and beyond.

The Path Forward

The work of the Cornish research group at The Ohio State University not only illuminates a path towards sustainable rubber production but also underscores the importance of genetic diversity and geographical distribution in agriculture. In an age where climate change and environmental preservation are paramount, the development of the rubber dandelion as a viable industrial crop represents more than just an alternative. It is a step towards securing a resilient supply chain for natural rubber, one that reduces dependence on monocultures and mitigates the risk of catastrophic crop failures. The journey from laboratory breakthrough to widespread cultivation will be complex, involving intricate breeding, regulatory, and commercialization processes. Yet, the promise held by the rubber dandelion, enabled by CRISPR/Cas9, offers a compelling vision of a sustainable, bio-diverse future for global rubber production.

Read More: Here

bottom of page