Breeding a bigger and better dandelion
German researchers say dandelion milks can make car tires
Hold on before you fill the sprayer tank next spring — German scientists say they have found a new source of rubber to make tires — dandelions.
The German research organization Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft and tire manufacturer Continental say they’ve officially started a five-year joint project to commercialize the manufacture of tires from dandelion rubber. The first prototype test tires are scheduled to be tested on public roads over the next few years.
The researchers have been growing several hectares of a high-biomass dandelion variety particularly rich in rubber, which they say matches the quality of the conventional product from rubber trees.
“We have amassed tremendous expertise in dandelion harvesting over the last few years. With the aid of DNA markers, we now know which gene is responsible for which molecular feature. This makes it possible to cultivate especially high-yield plants much more efficiently,” researcher Dirk Prüfer said in a release.