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Doesn't rubber come from trees?

Let your eyes (and mouse) wander to these trees to discover our ideas on how to help the environment and change the future of rubber production. Take a look at our short project description below.

The growing demand for natural rubber causes deforestation of the rainforest and occupation of arable lands, due to the establishment of new plantations. If producing rubber by bacteria succeeds, production of natural rubber will not be limited to the regions where the rubber tree can grow. Rather, rubber can be produced even in barren lands.

Our project aims to enable a common bacteria to produce natural rubber while grown under controlled conditions. Natural rubber is composed of molecules consisting of the substance IPP linked together like a chain. The common bacteria that we use (E. coli) already possesses the ability to produce the IPP, but it lacks the enzyme to connect the IPP links together into a chain. We introduced the enzyme that the rubber tree has for connecting the links into the bacteria. Furthermore, we introduced genes that allow the bacteria further production of the IPP links.