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SWAT - Scalable W(R)ubber through Advanced Technology

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: 140D0419C0089
Agency Tracking Number: D18C-001-0014
Amount: $224,952.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: ST18C-001
Solicitation Number: 18.C
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-08-07
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-11-11
Small Business Information
5659 Canaan Center Road
Wooster, OH 44691
United States
DUNS: 006396513
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Katrina Cornish
 PI, Professor
 (330) 263-3982
Business Contact
 Thomas Fontana
Phone: (330) 262-0159
Research Institution
 The Ohio State University
 Dr. Katrina Cornish Dr. Katrina Cornish
1680 Madison Avenue
Wooster, OH 44691
United States

 (330) 263-3982
 Nonprofit College or University

Opportunity: Guayule, a US native plant, is the only alternate rubber crop with an established, mechanized, agronomic system. Problem: Low rubber yields and lack of effective resin and bagasse coproduct valorization, have prevented widespread adoption by American farmers and processors. Rubber is only made when the cytoplasmic monomer pool (isopentenyl-pyrophosphate; IPP) is larger than that required for cell growth and development, and this pool must be increased to improve rubber yield. Previous biotechnological efforts to manipulate IPP pools initially increased rubber production but plants could not maintain improved rubber yield past their seedling stage, likely caused by accumulation of toxic pyrophosphate (PP) byproducts and a pH shift in cells with increased rubber synthesis (a PP and a proton is released with every monomer added to the growing polymer). Solution: To overcome this key limitation, we have generated a series of transgenic guayule lines expressing gene stacks encoding enzymes synthesizing rubber precursors, as well as transport proteins capable of removing toxic protons and PP from the cytosol of rubber-producing cells. Benefit/Outcome: These plants will be metabolically profiled and screened for rubber production, with lines producing 150+% of baseline, serving as the foundation for an enhanced rubber production system.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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