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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Quality and Performance of Latex Purified from Different Plant Parts of Mature Guayule Shrubs

Authors
item Cornish, Katrina
item McCoy Iii, Raymond
item Van Fleet, Jennifer
item Martin, J - YULEX CORPORATION
item Fowler, J - NEW MEXICO ST UNIV

Submitted to: Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2003
Publication Date: October 12, 2003
Citation: Cornish, K., Mccoy III, R.G., Van Fleet, J.E., Martin, J.A., Fowler, J.L. 2003. Quality and performance of latex purified from different plant parts of mature guayule shrubs. Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference. p. 25.

Interpretive Summary: Commercial development of guayule latex for the medical products market requires the ability to consistently produced high quality latex. In this study, we quantified, purified, characterized and tested latex produced from four subfractions of five year-old guayule plants of three lines from New Mexico, including small, medium and large branches as well as a root and stem base fraction, and included a comparison of harvest time for one line. This study suggests that latex is quite uniform among lines and throughout the plant in healthy guayule plants and that high quality latex, which can be used to make high quality latex products, should be obtainable whether the shrub is harvested by cutting the tops for by digging the entire plant before processing.

Technical Abstract: Commercial development of guayule latex for the medical products market requires the ability to consistently produced high quality latex. In this study, we quantified, purified, characterized and tested latex produced from four subfractions of five year-old guayule plants of three lines from New Mexico, including small, medium and large branches as well as a root and stem base fraction, and included a comparison of harvest time for one line. Analysis of the yield data shows that line AZ-R2 had a higher yield overall than the guayule lines 11605 and Cal-6, and older tissues had more latex than the youngest ones. The youngest stems had a similar latex content among the lines, and the overall yield difference was attributable to differences among the larger branches. In all lines, purified latex from the roots and stem bases had a lower protein concentration than latex from the stems. In addition, line 11605 latex generally seemed lower in protein than latex from Cal-6 and AZ-R2. The rubber particle size was similar among lines, but was age dependent with particle size slightly decreasing as stem size increased in all three lines. Molecular characterization of the latex rubber molecules indicated that latex from all lines and all parts of the guayule plant was of high molecular weight, of low polydispersity and similarly configured as random coils. Physical testing of films made from the different latex samples, and compared with films made from different samples of Hevea brasiliensis latex, indicated that high quality properties could be achieved from all samples. In conclusion, this study suggests that latex is quite uniform among lines and throughout the plant in healthy guayule plants and that high quality latex should be obtainable whether the shrub is harvested by pollarding or digging.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014
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