A new Para rubber tree research database

January 22, 2018

Will accelerate applied research for novel biomaterials synthesis

RIKEN CSRS and Universiti Sains Malaysia have collaboratively constructed and published a gene and transcriptome database (http://matsui-lab.riken.jp/rubber/ ) to serve as a research platform for Para rubber tree research.

Natural rubber is indispensable in many aspects of modern life: it is used in tires and medical devices, and is also an important natural resource in our daily lives. Large-scale cultivation takes place on plantations, but from the perspective of competing for arable land with food and palm oil crops and protecting forest ecologies, it is desirable to increase production of latex (the raw material for rubber) without increasing land use. Because research into biotechnologies for increased production is still in its early stages, basic information is still insufficient.

In order to construct this database, the team first determined a draft genome sequence of the Para rubber tree (H. brasiliensis) in 2016 and subsequently analyzed gene expression in high-yielding and disease-resistant strains. This time, the team compiled both its own gene expression data and related research results from around the world to construct a Para rubber tree gene and transcriptome database, allowing researcher easy access to information that previously took great amounts of time and effort to acquire. The use of this genetic information is expected to contribute to elucidation of latex synthesis mechanisms and accelerate applied research such as for the synthesis of novel bioengineered materials.

Global competition regarding Para rubber tree research is intensifying around the world, and publication of this research database is expected to contribute to applied research in this field.

Original article
BMC Genomicss doi:10.1186/s12864-017-4333-y
Y. Makita, M. Kawashima, N. S. Lau, A. S. Othman, M. Matsui,
"Construction of Pará rubber tree genome and multi-transcriptome database accelerates rubber researches".
Yuko Makita; Research Scientist
Minami Matsui; Group Director
Synthetic Genomics Research Group