SAN DIEGO, Calif. and PHOENIX, AZ, November 12, 2013 – SGB Inc., an agricultural biotechnology company, and Yulex Corporation, a biomaterial company, announced today a collaboration to establish a genomics and molecular breeding platform focused on accelerating the crop improvement of Guayule as a sustainable source of biorubber that can replace traditional tropical or petroleum-based rubber for medical, consumer and industrial markets.
SGB will apply a non-GMO technology platform that combines breeding and selection with genomic technologies, including high throughput genotyping, genome wide trait association studies, genomic selection and proprietary plant re-domestication methods to the improvement of Guayule. The company will identify genetic markers that represent increased rubber yield and use that to produce new cultivars that express that yield under commercial conditions. SGB will also implement novel breeding strategies designed to accelerate the development of improved cultivars with higher rubber yield productivity, consistency and increased stress tolerance.
“SGB’s proven molecular breeding and genomics platform technologies will be invaluable as we accelerate the development of next generation Guayule crop lines,” said Jeffrey Martin, president and chief executive officer of Yulex. “Our partnership will enable us to dramatically improve yield, reduce input costs and introduce new traits that will drive the deployment of Guayule as a sustainable, industrial crop on global basis.”
Guayule (Y-U-LEE) is an industrial crop that does not compete against food or fiber crops and requires low inputs. It is a renewable source of natural rubber that can replace petroleum-based synthetics and lessen reliance on imported tropical rubber.
“We are excited to leverage the lessons learned with Jatropha and apply our proprietary genome-based breeding tools toward crop improvement of an entirely new species,” said Eric Mathur, vice president of technology for SGB. “Deciphering the genetic relationships and ploidy levels residing within Guayule germplasm enables advanced breeding strategies which will result in optimized regional productivity, thus expanding Guayule’s global footprint through the development of new varieties that produce high yields of latex and rubber under diverse environmental conditions.”
About SGB Inc. (www.sgbinc.com)
SGB Inc. is an agricultural biotechnology company that has developed a proprietary genomics and biotech platform to develop novel crops and discover traits for row crops. SGB has been named one of the Top 5 Renewable Jet Fuel Supply Chain Companies in the World by The Carbon War Room (2011), one of the Top 50 Hottest Companies in Bioenergy for five consecutive years (2009-2013) and the 2010 Feedstock Domestication Project of the Year by Biofuels Digest and one of the Top 200 Going Green Private Companies in the World by Always On (2011).
About Yulex Corporation
Yulex Corporation is a biomaterial company. The company applies crop science, bioprocessing and materials science for the development of plant-based biomaterials from the sustainable, industrial crop guayule. Yulex’s biomaterials can replace traditional tropical or petroleum-based rubber for medical, consumer, and industrial markets. The company collaborates with strategic partners to develop and to market highly differentiated, premium performance products in a clean and responsible way. Additionally, Yulex has a global licensing program. The company envisions a future of fully integrated and sustainable biorefineries that utilize 100% of the guayule plant to provide a renewable source of natural rubber, resin, specialty chemicals, biomaterials and biofuels on a global basis. Yulex is based in the U.S. Southwest and has a growing global footprint.