The bright future

If things do change

“Imagine a world where natural rubber is produced by gene manipulated bacteria that can facilitate the polymerization of rubber. Perhaps inside silos that can be placed underground or in environments unusable for agriculture.”
- iGEM SDU 2013

The new and bright future.

Bacterial growth is limited only by its micro-environment. They do not need to grow on certain natural grounds with a distinct climate, but can easily be grown in industrial facilities. Scaling the production system from the wet lab of the university grounds to a production plant poses challenges, but looking beyond these, possibilities appear.

The newly established innovative production plants will not require a vast amount of time before production can commence. Bacteria only needs a matter of hours before they are able to produce, in contrast to the 7 years of maturation of the rubber tree. Furthermore, they will not need the vast areas required for plantations. The facilities can be placed on infertile land, saving the rainforest and liberating arable lands suitable for high-yielding agriculture.

It is easy to imagine a system where the rubber bacteria can feed on leftovers from earlier batches of standard LB medium. Even further out in the future, one could imagine plants with cyano bacteria producing the sustenance for the rubber producing bacteria from sunlight and CO2.