Note: This colloquium will during the HCS Seminar time on Wed April 8th at 11:30.
Presenter: Muhammad Akbar Abdul Ghaffar
Advisor: Dr. Katrina Cornish
Proposal Type: PhD Proposal
Title of Presentation: Rubber Particle Ontogeny in Relation to Rubber Productivity of Economically Important Latex Producing Plants
Rubber Particle Ontogeny in Relation to Rubber Productivity of Economically Important Latex Producing Plants
Muhammad Akbar Abdul Ghaffar
Natural rubber (NR) is one of the world’s important commodities and research on improving latex production will benefit the NR industry from the rubber-producers (upstream) to the manufacturers and consumers (downstream). NR is in high demand due, in part, to rapid industrialization of developing countries and because all NR is produced from a single tropical tree species, Hevea brasiliensis. In the US and Europe, both guayule (Parthenium argentatum) and dandelion (especially Taraxacum kok-saghyz) are being investigated as substitutes for Hevea because these plants produce high quality rubber and are grown in temperate climates. However, rubber particle ontogeny is not yet fully understood in these species. Rubber yield can be manipulated, and often increased, by environmental and hormonal methods. In this study, we will examine two areas of rubber production by investigating rubber particle origin and the use of environmental and hormonal factors in increasing the rubber yield. The study will include three different species of rubber producing plants; Hevea brasiliensis, Parthenium argentatum and Taraxacum kok-saghyz (TK) and will be divided into two different stages. First, we will gain a histological understanding of storage vessel development (the laticifers and the parenchyma) and examine the ontogeny of rubber particles by characterizing the morphology and development of rubber-producing cells, as both factors may be related to rubber production. We hypothesize that the rubber particles de novo begin from the endoplasmic reticulum of the rubber producing cell. Second, we will focus on the manipulation of temperature and hormones, especially ethylene, in increasing rubber yield. We hypothesize that both factors can regulate rubber production and increase rubber yield. These studies combined will provide valuable information on rubber biosynthesis, especially in guayule and TK that are still at the early stages of commercialization.