Title: Germplasm Development of Taraxacum kok-saghyz (TK) through Plant Breeding Methods
Presenter: Zinan Luo (Lily)
Advisor: Dr. Katrina Cornish
Proposal Type: PhD Proposal
ABSTRACT: Taraxacum kok-saghyz (TK) is an alternative rubber resource, which has received considerable attention since the production of natural rubber has been faced with such serious challenges as potential shortages of supply and pathogen threats. Also, it appears to be an ideal rubber-producing crop due to its short life cycle, relatively large biomass production, adaptation to diverse environments and high rubber molecular weight—which is important for industry. However, only limited breeding research has been carried out after the termination of emergency rubber programs during World War II. Its self-incompatibility system also slows down TK breeding. Current germplasm has ~50 mg rubber/g root (dw basis) but we have seen individual plants with ~200 mg/g. We intend to increase rubber percentage to at least 150 mg/g by using a combination of breeding methods, including Hybrid-TK Backcrossing, Marker-Assisted Selection (MAS) and Tetraploid (4n) Population Development.