Submitted to: Association for the Advancement of Industrial Crops Conference
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/16/2001
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Conventional preservatives used to protect wood from insect and microbial damages are presently of major concern to human health and the environment. Finding alternative and economical preservatives has not been successful. Previous studies have shown that the resinous material extracted from the guayule plant (Parthenium argentatum, Gray) has both insect and microbial resistant properties. The potential domestication of the guayule plant to produce hypoallergenic rubber latex will result in large amounts of waste wood material. The objective of this preliminary study was to determine the effects of the rubber latex- removed wood residues or bagasse and the resinous extracts on termite- and decay-resistant properties. Both wood impregnated with organic- solvent extracted resinous material and composite wood fabricated from the guayule bagasse were studied for biocontrol properties. Accelerated laboratory tests were conducted to determine the resistance of the wood products against the Eastern subterranean termite and wood fungi (brown- rot). The wood and stem of the guayule plant, treated with the resinous extract, and particle and composite wood made from ground guayule exhibited termite and wood fungal resistance. Because the guayule plant is drought tolerant and its biocontrol products can reduce the need to harvest trees for replacing wood damage, its cultivation as an alternative crop will help conserve water and forest resources worldwide.