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Rubber produced from lettuce.

Prickly lettuce, a common weed, may provide raw material for rubber production, according to Washington State University scientists. Writing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, they describe regions in the plant's genetic code linked to rubber production. The findings open the way for breeding for desired traits and developing a new crop source for rubber in the Pacific Northwest.

When the lettuce we eat and grow bolts, a milky white sap bleeds from the stem. In prickly lettuce, the wild relative and ancestor of cultivated lettuce, this same substance could prove to be an economically viable source of natural rubber.

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Title Annotation:From the Editor
Author:Rohrer, Jill
Publication:Rubber World
Date:May 1, 2015
Words:102
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