An overview of the potentials of natural rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) engineering for the production of valuable proteins

  • EE Omo-Ikerodah
  • KO Omokhafe
  • FA Akpobome
  • MU Mokwunye
Keywords: Natural rubber, transgenics, protein factory


Nigeria has in recent times exhibited great commitment to the use of biotechnology as a tool to enhance agricultural and general socioeconomic development. Plant biotechnology and genetic engineering have led to the production of various pharmaceutical proteins from plant sources. Plants
are potential bio-farming factories because they provide an inexpensive and convenient system for the large scale production of valuable recombinant proteins. The objective of this paper is to highlight the
prospects and potentials of transgenic rubber plant as a unique protein factory which will act as additional source of income to the rubber farmer especially in Nigeria. Rubber has the advantage of having continuous harvesting from same tree for a minimum of twenty years. The International Rubber Research Organizations have successfully developed transgenic rubber plants that produce foreign proteins of potential commercial value. Among such routines is an antibody and human serum albumin. Tapping rubber trees for valuable proteins will be more profitable compared to other options. The technologies have been developed and only needs to be adapted to our local conditions. It is hoped that this paper will be instructive to rubber farmers, policy makers, executors of policies or citizens wishing to join the Nigerian rubber farmers in their bid to increase their prosperity or alleviate their poverty.

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eISSN: 1684-5315