Could a car of the future have tires with flower power?
Researchers from around the country have banded together to figure out how to increase the rubber production from the sunflower crop.
Currently, just one percent of the sunflower's dry matter is rubber. But with a $2.5 (M) million-dollar grant, Colorado State University researchers hope to increase the sunflower's rubber content to at least ten percent by genetically modifying the plant.
Almost all natural rubber comes from trees in southeast Asia and Brazil, but due to environmental and economic reasons, growers are reducing their production.