As global demand for tyres is predicted grow in line with the increase in traffic on the world’s roads, Bridgestone has made a major industry breakthrough.
The world’s largest tyre manufacturer has successfully decoded the main genome sequence for Hevea brasiliensis euphorbiaceous plant material for producing latex.
And why is that important? The more common name for Hevea brasiliensis is the rubber tree, and euphorbiaceous is the emulsion produced by the tree which is crucial in producing latex.
Latex, of course, is the natural rubber required for tyre production and a myriad of other important rubber products.
The research breakthrough was accomplished in conjunction with Genome Informatics Laboratory in the National Institute of Genetics in Mishima City in Japan.
This new genome data is expected to facilitate development of improved breeding technologies and growing methods for Hevea brasiliensis/natural rubber. These technologies can enable the development of a better clone of the plant and improve the yield and quality of the latex produced.
The Bridgestone Group has been conducting basic research into molecular breeding of Hevea brasiliensis to enhance the productivity of natural rubber.
To accelerate these research activities, the Group has decoded an estimated 1.4 billion base pair genome for Hevea brasiliensis together with the Genome Informatics Laboratory in the National Institute of Genetics.
The sequence data obtained through this research project is estimated to cover more than 90% of the gene-rich regions of the genome.
The Group is committed to effectively using the Earth’s resources as well as the advancement of ‘reducing’, ‘reusing’, and ‘recycling’ initiatives. In addition, the Group believes that in the future new resources for tyres should derive from sustainable materials.
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