The superior properties of natural rubber (cis-1,4-polyisoprene [NR]) are a function of its structure and composition, properties that still remain a mystery and that are irreplaceable by any synthetic rubber. NR from guayule (Parthenium argentatum) has been gaining special interest for its hypoallergenic properties while maintaining superior mechanical properties that are commonly associated with the Brazilian rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis), the most common source of NR. Techniques exist to isolate washed rubber particles (WRPs) that contain enzymatically active rubber transferase, to study NR biosynthesis, and previous work on the in vitro NR growth in Hevea has demonstrated the presence of around 50 wt% of a low molecular weight ([MW], Mn <10 000 g/mol) fraction. Structural and compositional analyses of this low MW fraction in Hevea are challenging due to the high protein content. We discuss the analysis and composition of guayule latex and WRPs using high-resolution Size Exclusion Chromatography. We also discuss the composition of the soluble fraction of inactive guayule latex using matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization/time of flight mass spectrometry.

You do not currently have access to this content.