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History of research activities on guayule (Parthenium argentatum) at Cirad since the 1980s

Palu S., Pioch D., Chapuset T.. 2019. In : Development of innovative alternative crops for the production of natural rubber. Book of abstracts. Montpellier : CIRAD, 1 p.. Conference on the Topic of Alternative Sources of Natural Rubber, 2019-11-04/2019-11-06, Montpellier (France).

Interest for guayule (Parthenium argentatum) in France started in the 1950s at the French Rubber institute (IFC), in parallel with research on Hevea Brasiliensis in Indochina. With the first oil crisis in the 1980s, the Rubber research Institute in Africa (IRCA) continues the researches on Hevea in Africa for IFC, and also started a programme on guayule in Morocco and in West Africa (JB Serrier). Interest for guayule continued but at a smaller scale with the creation of CIRAD in 1984 and was then abandoned in the 1990s. A new interest started in 2008, when the CIRAD and 17 European partners worked on a KBBE/FP7 European project (EU-based Production and Exploitation of Alternative Rubber and Latex Sources (FP7, P212827) until 2012. The EU-PEARLS project started a growing interest in Europe for alternatives sources of natural rubber based on guayule and Kazakh dandelion (Taraxacum kok saghtz). With the collaboration of tyres companies (Continental, Vredestein/Apollo, Bridgestone, CooperTires and Yulex), guayule and dandelion were developed at an industrial scale. In case of a shortage of NR expected in the coming years, both innovative alternative crops could have a large scale development, as NR has been labelized by Europe as a critical raw material.

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