PHOENIX (May 10, 2013) — Biomaterials developer Yulex Corp. is giving the University of Arizona a five-year, $3 million grant to work on breeding and agronomic development of the desert shrub guayule for the production of biorubber for medical, consumer and industrial applications.
Dr. Dennis Ray of the University of Arizona, a world-renowned guayule expert, will lead research to increase the rubber yield of the guayule plant and decrease its harvest cycle time substantially, Yulex said.
"The university has some of the best (guayule) breeders in the world, and this grant will enable the most comprehensive breeding programs ever undertaken," said Jeffrey Martin, Yulex CEO and president.
Founded in 1997, Yulex has developed a portfolio of biomaterials based on latex from the guayule plant. Yulex and the University of Arizona have collaborated on guayule since the company's founding, according to Yulex.
The company's first experimental crops were planted on the grounds of the campus, and the university contributed substantially to Yulex's agronomic successes, Yulex said.