Wood density and types of shrinkage were examined in two rubberwood latex timber clones of rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) namely RRIM 2020 and RRIM 2025, planted at densities of 500, 1000, 1500, and 2000 trees/ha, within a trial plot. The mean wood density showed a low descending trend towards high planting densities in both clones. Wood density was significantly and negatively correlated with planting density. The strength of correlation was moderate. The mean longitudinal shrinkage in both clones and tangential shrinkages in clone RRIM 2020 showed no significant difference among planting densities. The tangential (in RRIM 2025), radial and volumetric shrinkages in both clones decreased from low to high planting densities and the differences were more pronounced between densities of 500 trees/ha and 2000 trees/ha. The magnitudes of correlation between these shrinkages and planting density were low. The regression models indicated that wood density could be more ascribed by planting density followed by volumetric shrinkage. This study exhibited low variations in wood density and shrinkages among clones and the respective planting densities; however, RRIM 2025 was more stable than RRIM 2020.
Ammonium-enriched skim latex serum - used for absorption of contaminating ammonia gas - when composted with other rubber tree wastes, is promising as a good compost. The objective of this research was to utilize ammonium-enriched skim latex serum (S) as a raw composting ingredient after being combined with para sawdust (W1) and para rubber leaves (W2). Several ratios of S, W1 and W2 were experimented in a 15L composting vessel to determine the most effective compost. The best ratio was found to be 3:1:3 by weight at 12-day retention. The modified 30 L composting reactor employed with the derived optimum mixing conditions yielded N, P and K of 2.40, 1.51 and 14.84 %w/w. The growth of Brassica alboglabra after application of this compost combined with a chemical fertilizer generated the highest fresh weight (4.48 g/plant). Thus, compost from these wastes could be used as a fertilizer and logically should contribute to cost saving of waste disposal.
The natural rubber latex extracted from the bark of Hevea brasiliensis plays various important roles in modern society. Post-translational modifications (PTMs) of the latex proteins are important for the stability and functionality of the proteins. In this study, latex proteins were acquired from the C-serum, lutoids, and rubber particle layers of latex without using prior enrichment steps; they were fragmented using collision-induced dissociation (CID), higher-energy collisional dissociation (HCD), and electron-transfer dissociation (ETD) activation methods. PEAKS 7 were used to search for unspecified PTMs, followed by analysis through PTM prediction tools to crosscheck both results. There were 73 peptides in 47 proteins from H. brasiliensis protein sequences derived from UniProtKB were identified and predicted to be post-translationally modified. The peptides with PTMs identified include phosphorylation, lysine acetylation, N-terminal acetylation, hydroxylation, and ubiquitination. Most of the PTMs discovered have yet to be reported in UniProt, which would provide great assistance in the research of the functional properties of H. brasiliensis latex proteins, as well as being useful biomarkers. The data are available via the MassIVE repository with identifier MSV000082419.
Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg, a member of the family Euphorbiaceae, is the sole natural resource exploited for commercial production of high-quality natural rubber. The properties of natural rubber latex are almost irreplaceable by synthetic counterparts for many industrial applications. A paucity of knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of rubber biosynthesis in high yield traits still persists. Here we report the comprehensive genome-wide analysis of the widely planted H. brasiliensis clone, RRIM 600. The genome was assembled based on ~155-fold combined coverage with Illumina and PacBio sequence data and has a total length of 1.55 Gb with 72.5% comprising repetitive DNA sequences. A total of 84,440 high-confidence protein-coding genes were predicted. Comparative genomic analysis revealed strong synteny between H. brasiliensis and other Euphorbiaceae genomes. Our data suggest that H. brasiliensis's capacity to produce high levels of latex can be attributed to the expansion of rubber biosynthesis-related genes in its genome and the high expression of these genes in latex. Using cap analysis gene expression data, we illustrate the tissue-specific transcription profiles of rubber biosynthesis-related genes, revealing alternative means of transcriptional regulation. Our study adds to the understanding of H. brasiliensis biology and provides valuable genomic resources for future agronomic-related improvement of the rubber tree.
How tropical trees flower synchronously near the equator in the absence of significant day length variation or other meteorological cues has long been a puzzle. The rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is used as a model to investigate this phenomenon. The annual cycle of solar radiation intensity is shown to correspond closely with the flowering of the rubber tree planted near the equator and in the subtropics. Unlike in temperate regions, where incoming solar radiation (insolation) is dependent on both day length and radiation intensity, insolation at the equator is due entirely to the latter. Insolation at the upper atmosphere peaks twice a year during the spring and autumn equinoxes, but the actual solar radiation that reaches the ground is attenuated to varying extents in different localities. The rubber tree shows one or two flowering seasons a year (with major and minor seasons in the latter) in accordance with the solar radiation intensity received. High solar radiation intensity, and in particular bright sunshine (as distinct from prolonged diffuse radiation), induces synchronous anthesis and blooming in Hevea around the time of the equinoxes. The same mechanism may be operational in other tropical tree species.
Natural rubber (polyisoprene) from the rubber tree Hevea brasiliensis is synthesized by specialized cells called laticifers. It is not clear how rubber particles arise, although one hypothesis is that they derive from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane. Here we cloned the genes encoding four key proteins found in association with rubber particles and studied their intracellular localization by transient expression in Nicotiana benthamiana leaves. We show that, while the cis-prenyltransferase (CPT), responsible for the synthesis of long polyisoprene chains, is a soluble, cytosolic protein, other rubber particle proteins such as rubber elongation factor (REF), small rubber particle protein (SRPP) and Hevea rubber transferase 1-REF bridging protein (HRBP) are associated with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). We also show that SRPP can recruit CPT to the ER and that interaction of CPT with HRBP leads to both proteins relocating to the plasma membrane. We discuss these results in the context of the biogenesis of rubber particles.
The flame retardancy of medium density fiberboard (MDF) made from mixture of rubberwood fibers and recycled old corrugated containers was studied. Aluminum trihydroxide (ATH) was used as a fire retardant additive and mixed with the fibers to manufacture experimental MDF panels using wet process. Phenol formaldehyde (PF) resin in liquid, 2% based on oven dry weight of fibers, was used along with 0%, 10%, 15% and 20% of ATH. The flame retardant test was done using the limiting oxygen index (LOI) test. The other properties investigated include internal bond strength, thickness swelling and water absorption. The results showed that ATH loading increased as the LOI of MDF increased. This demonstrated that ATH could improved the fire retardant property of MDF at sufficient loading. An increase in concentration of ATH showed an increase in the IB values of MDF made without resin. MDF panels made without resin showed a progressive increase in internal bond as the composition of recycled old corrugated containers fiber increased. Addition of resin improved internal bond strength and reduced thickness swelling, and water absorption. Thickness swelling of panel increased as the composition of recycled old corrugated containers fiber increased. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive X-ray analysis (EDAX) showed that there is indication of ATH and resin filling the void space in between fibers.
Rubber leaf powder (an agricultural waste) was treated with potassium permanganate followed by sodium carbonate and its performance in the removal of Pb(II) ions from aqueous solution was evaluated. The interactions between Pb(II) ions and functional groups on the adsorbent surface were confirmed by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) coupled with X-ray energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDX). The effects of several important parameters which can affect adsorption capacity such as pH, adsorbent dosage, initial lead concentration and contact time were studied. The optimum pH range for lead adsorption was 4-5. Even at very low adsorbent dosage of 0.02 g, almost 100% of Pb(II) ions (23 mg/L) could be removed. The adsorption capacity was also dependent on lead concentration and contact time, and relatively a short period of time (60-90 min) was required to reach equilibrium. The equilibrium data were analyzed with Langmuir, Freundlich and Dubinin-Radushkevich isotherms. Based on Langmuir model, the maximum adsorption capacity of lead was 95.3 mg/g. Three kinetic models including pseudo first-order, pseudo second-order and Boyd were used to analyze the lead adsorption process, and the results showed that the pseudo second-order fitted well with correlation coefficients greater than 0.99.
The lipid fraction of rubber (Hevea brasiliensis (kunth. Muell)) seed was extracted and analyzed for toxicological effect. The toxicological compound such as linamarin in rubber seed oil (RSO) extracted using different solvents, such as hexane (RSOh), mixture of chloroform + methanol (RSOchl+mth) and ethanol (RSOeth) were also studied. Various methods analysis such as Fourier transforms infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and colorimetric methods were carried out to determine the present of such compounds.
One of the concerns of assembling de novo transcriptomes is determining the amount of read sequences required to ensure a comprehensive coverage of genes expressed in a particular sample. In this report, we describe the use of Illumina paired-end RNA-Seq (PE RNA-Seq) reads from Hevea brasiliensis (rubber tree) bark to devise a transcript mapping approach for the estimation of the read amount needed for deep transcriptome coverage.
The natural rubber latex extracted from the bark of Hevea brasiliensis plays various important roles in today's modern society. Following ultracentrifugation, the latex can be separated into 3 layers: C-serum, lutoids, and rubber particles. Previous studies have shown that a large number of proteins are present in these 3 layers. However, a complete proteome for this important plant is still unavailable. Protein sequences have been recently translated from the completed draft genome database of H. brasiliensis, leading to the creation of annotated protein databases of the following H. brasiliensis biosynthetic pathways: photosynthesis, latex allergens, rubberwood formation, latex biosynthesis, and disease resistance. This research was conducted to identify the proteins contained within the latex by way of de novo sequencing from mass spectral data obtained from the 3 layers of the latex. Peptides from these proteins were fragmented using collision-induced dissociation, higher-energy collisional dissociation, and electron-transfer dissociation activation methods. A large percentage of proteins from the biosynthetic pathways (63% to 100%) were successfully identified. In addition, a total of 1839 unique proteins were identified from the whole translated draft genome database (AnnHBM).
A comparative study on solid substrate fermentation (SSF) of sago 'hampas', oil palm frond parenchyma tissue (OPFPt) and rubberwood sawdust with Pycnoporus sanguineus for laccase production was carried out. Optimal mycelial growth of Pyc. sanguineus was observed on all the substrates studied over a 21 days time-course fermentation. Laccase productivity was highest during degradation of sago 'hampas' and OPFPt and a range from 7.5 to 7.6 U/g substrate on the 11th day of fermentation compared to degradation of rubberwood sawdust with a maximum laccase productivity of 5.7 U/g substrate on day 11 of SSF. Further optimization of laccase production was done by varying the inoculum age, density and nitrogen supplementation. SSF of OPFPt by Pyc. sanguineus gave maximum productivity of laccase of 46.5 U/g substrate on day 6 of fermentation with a 30% (w/w) of 4 weeks old inoculum and 0.92% nitrogen in the form of urea supplemented in the substrate. The extraction of laccase was also optimized in this study. Recovery of laccase was fourfold higher at 30.6 U/g substrate on day 10 of SSF using unadjusted tap water at pH 8.0 as extraction medium at 25+/-2 degrees C compared to laccase recovery of 7.46 U/g substrate using sodium acetate buffer at pH 4.8 at 4 degrees C. Further optimization showed that laccase recovery was increased by 50% with a value of 46.5 U/g substrate on day 10 of SSF when the extraction medium was tap water adjusted to pH 5.0 at 25+/-2 degrees C.
Chemical interesterification of rubber seed oil has been investigated for four different designed orifice devices in a pilot scale hydrodynamic cavitation (HC) system. Upstream pressure within 1-3.5bar induced cavities to intensify the process. An optimal orifice plate geometry was considered as plate with 1mm dia hole having 21 holes at 3bar inlet pressure. The optimisation results of interesterification were revealed by response surface methodology; methyl acetate to oil molar ratio of 14:1, catalyst amount of 0.75wt.% and reaction time of 20min at 50°C. HC is compared to mechanical stirring (MS) at optimised values. The reaction rate constant and the frequency factor of HC were 3.4-fold shorter and 3.2-fold higher than MS. The interesterified product was characterised by following EN 14214 and ASTM D 6751 international standards.
Hevea brasiliensis is one of the popular industrial crops in Malaysia better known as rubber tree belongs to the family Euphorbiaceace. From more than 12 species of Hevea, only Hevea brasiliensis is economically exploited because the milky latex extracted from the tree is the primary source of natural rubber. As in other crops, various plant physiological conditions and pathogenic diseases influence rubber production. Brown bast is one of the most serious threats to natural rubber production. In general, high-yielding clones of rubber tree are often considered to be more susceptible to this physiological disorder also commonly termed Tapping Panel Dryness (TPD). It is estimated that brown bast leads to approximately 15-20% decrease in yield. There is no known cure for brown bast yet. However, many plantation practices manage brown bast in rubber by giving tapping rest and changing tapping panel. Hence, this review condenses the causal of brown bast, symptoms of diseases and also control of brown bast affected Hevea tree.
Pretreatment of the high free fatty acid rubber seed oil (RSO) via esterification reaction has been investigated by using a pilot scale hydrodynamic cavitation (HC) reactor. Four newly designed orifice plate geometries are studied. Cavities are induced by assisted double diaphragm pump in the range of 1-3.5 bar inlet pressure. An optimised plate with 21 holes of 1mm diameter and inlet pressure of 3 bar resulted in RSO acid value reduction from 72.36 to 2.64 mg KOH/g within 30 min of reaction time. Reaction parameters have been optimised by using response surface methodology and found as methanol to oil ratio of 6:1, catalyst concentration of 8 wt%, reaction time of 30 min and reaction temperature of 55°C. The reaction time and esterified efficiency of HC was three fold shorter and four fold higher than mechanical stirring. This makes the HC process more environmental friendly.
Morphological features and Inter Simple Sequence Repeat (ISSR) polymorphism were employed to analyse 21 Corynespora cassiicola isolates obtained from a number of Hevea clones grown in rubber plantations in Malaysia. The C. cassiicola isolates used in this study were collected from several states in Malaysia from 1998 to 2005. The morphology of the isolates was characteristic of that previously described for C. cassiicola. Variations in colony and conidial morphology were observed not only among isolates but also within a single isolate with no inclination to either clonal or geographical origin of the isolates. ISSR analysis delineated the isolates into two distinct clusters. The dendrogram created from UPGMA analysis based on Nei and Li's coefficient (calculated from the binary matrix data of 106 amplified DNA bands generated from 8 ISSR primers) showed that cluster 1 encompasses 12 isolates from the states of Johor and Selangor (this cluster was further split into 2 sub clusters (1A, 1B), sub cluster 1B consists of a unique isolate, CKT05D); while cluster 2 comprises of 9 isolates that were obtained from the other states. Detached leaf assay performed on selected Hevea clones showed that the pathogenicity of representative isolates from cluster 1 (with the exception of CKT05D) resembled that of race 1; and isolates in cluster 2 showed pathogenicity similar to race 2 of the fungus that was previously identified in Malaysia. The isolate CKT05D from sub cluster 1B showed pathogenicity dissimilar to either race 1 or race 2.
Rigidoporus microporus (Polyporales, Basidiomycota) syn. Rigidoporus lignosus is the most destructive root pathogen of rubber plantations distributed in tropical and sub-tropical regions. Our primary objective was to characterize Nigerian isolates from rubber tree and compare them with other West African, Southeast Asian and American isolates. To characterize the 20 isolates from Nigeria, we used sequence data of the nuclear ribosomal DNA ITS and LSU, β-tubulin and translation elongation factor 1-α (tef1) gene sequences. Altogether, 40 isolates of R. microporus were included in the analyses. Isolates from Africa, Asia and South/Central America formed three distinctive clades corresponding to at least three species. No phylogeographic pattern was detected among R. microporus collected from West and Central African rubber plantations suggesting continuous gene flow among these populations. Our molecular phylogenetic analysis suggests the presence of two distinctive species associated with the white rot disease. Phylogenetic analyses placed R. microporus in the Hymenochaetales in the vicinity of Oxyporus. This is the first study to characterize R. microporus isolates from Nigeria through molecular phylogenetic techniques, and also the first to compare isolates from rubber plantations in Africa and Asia.
Hev b 4 is an allergenic natural rubber latex (NRL) protein complex that is reactive in skin prick tests and in vitro immunoassays. On SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), Hev b 4 is discerned predominantly at 53-55 kDa together with a 57 kDa minor component previously identified as a cyanogenic glucosidase. Of the 13 NRL allergens recognized by the International Union of Immunological Societies, the 53-55 kDa Hev b 4 major protein is the only candidate that lacks complete cDNA and protein sequence information.
We sought to clone the transcript encoding the Hev b 4 major protein, and characterize the native protein and its recombinant form in relation to IgE binding.
The 5'/3' rapid amplification of cDNA ends method was employed to obtain the complete cDNA of the Hev b 4 major protein. A recombinant form of the protein was over-expressed in Escherichia coli. The native Hev b 4 major protein was deglycosylated by trifluoromethane sulphonic acid. Western immunoblots of the native, deglycosylated and recombinant proteins were performed using both polyclonal antibodies and sera from latex-allergic patients.
The cDNA encoding the Hev b 4 major protein was cloned. Its open reading frame matched lecithinases in the conserved domain database and contained 10 predicted glycosylation sites. Detection of glycans on the Hev b 4 lecithinase homologue confirmed it to be a glycoprotein. The deglycosylated lecithinase homologue was discerned at 40 kDa on SDS-PAGE, this being comparable to the 38.53 kDa mass predicted by its cDNA. Deglycosylation of the lecithinase homologue resulted in the loss of IgE recognition, although reactivity to polyclonal rabbit anti-Hev b 4 was retained. IgE from latex-allergic patients also failed to recognize the non-glycosylated E. coli recombinant lecithinase homologue.
The IgE epitopes of the Hev b 4 lecithinase homologue reside mainly in its carbohydrate moiety, which also account for the discrepancy between the observed molecular weight of the protein and the value calculated from its cDNA.
Dielectric properties of natural rubber Hevea brasiliensis latex were measured at frequencies 0.2 to 20 GHz, at temperatures of 2, 15, 25, 35, and 50oC and around 30-98% moisture content. Measurements were done using open-ended coaxial line sensor and automated network analyzer. As expected, results showed that dielectric constant increased with increasing moisture. From 0.2 to 2.6 GHz, the losses were governed by conductive losses but for frequencies greater than 2.6 GHz, these were mainly due to dipolar losses. The former is due to conducting phases in hevea latex, while the latter is mainly governed by the orientation of water molecules. The results were analyzed at 2.6, 10, and 18 GHz, respectively. These were then compared with the values predicted by the dielectric mixture equations recommended by Weiner, Bruggeman and Kraszewski. All the measured values were found to be within the Weiner’s boundaries and close to the upper limit of Weiner’s model. It is also close to the predicted values of Bruggeman’s model with a/b = 0.1. All the models including Kraszewski are suitable for predicting the dielectric properties of hevea latex for frequencies 2.6 to 18 GHz, moisture content 30 to 98% and temperatures 2 to 50oC.