TIRE: Overcoming barriers to establishing a viable rubber crop for Ohio farmers

Back Row, left to right: Tony Ren (Grad Student), Imed Dami (Faculty), Zhenyu Li (Staff), Xiaofeng Zhuang (Staff), Kyle Benzle (Grad Student), David Ramirez-Cadavid (Recent Graduate)

Front Row, left to right: Ajay Shah (Faculty), John Cardina (Faculty), Nikita Amstutz (Research Associate), Katrina Cornish (Faculty), Jonathan Fresnedo Ramirez (Faculty), Mingde Liu (Grad Student)


CAPS is supporting the multidisciplinary advancement of a new rubber crop for Ohio (Buckeye Gold, Taraxacum kok-saghyz).  The project leverages CAPS expertise by focusing on the development and utilization of genetic resources and molecular breeding tools, on crop domestication and rubber yield improvement. Domestic rubber production is imperative for the natural rubber security of the United States.

Team Members


  1. Bates, G.M., McNulty, S.K., Amstutz, N.D., Pool, V.K., Cornish, K., Planting density and harvest season effects on actual and potential latex and rubber yields in Taraxacum kok-saghyz. Hort Science, accepted May 14, 2019
  2. Cherian, S., Ryu, SB, Cornish, K., Natural rubber biosynthesis in plants, the rubber transferase complex, and metabolic engineering progress and prospects.  Plant Biotechnology Journal (2019), pp. 1–21 doi: 10.1111/pbi.13181
  3. Ramirez-Cadavid, D.A., Cornish, K., a, b, Hathwaik, U., Kozak , R., McMahan. C.M., Michel, F.C.,Jr. Development of novel processes for the aqueous extraction of natural rubber from Taraxacum kok-saghyz (TK). J Chem Technol Biotechnol, 2019, DOI 10.1002/jctb.6027
  4. Junkong, P., Matsushima, Y., Phakkeeree T., Cornish, K., Ikeda, Y. Influence of strain-induced crystallization on stress softening of sulfur cross-linked unfilled guayule and dandelion natural rubbers. Rubber and Chemistry Technology 2019 in press (1/11/2019).
  5. Luo, Z., Iaffaldano, B.J., Zhuang, X., Fresnedo-Ramirez, J., Cornish, K. Variance, inter-trait correlation, heritability and marker-trait association of rubber yield related characteristics in Taraxacum kok-saghyz. Plant Molecular Biology Reporter 36(4), 576-587. 2018. doi.org/10.1007/s11105-018-1097-8.
  6. Cornish, K., Young, C.Y., Challenges and solutions to scale up of unconventional but viable bioenergy feedstocks. The Digest 2018.
  7. Iaffaldano, B.J., Cardina, J., Cornish, K., Evaluation of the hybridization potential between the rubber dandelion Taraxacum kok-saghyz and the common dandelion, T. officinale. Ecosphere 9(2):e02115. Doi: 10.1002/ecs2.2115, 2018.
  8. Luo, Z., Iaffaldano, B.J., Cornish, K., Colchicine-induced polyploidy has the potential to improve rubber yield in Taraxacum kok-saghyz. Industrial Crops and Products 112: 75-81, 2018.
  9. Cornish, K., Scott, D.J., Xie, W., Mau, C.J.D., Zheng, Y.F., Liu, X., Prestwich, G.D. Unusual subunits are directly involved in binding substrates for natural rubber biosynthesis in multiple plant species. Phytochemistry 156:55-72, 2018.
  10. Ramirez-Cadavid, D.A., Valles-Ramirez, S., Cornish, K., Michel Jr., F.C. Simultaneous quantification of rubber, inulin, and resins in Taraxacum kok-saghyz (TK) roots by sequential solvent extraction. Industrial Crops and Products 122: 647–656, 2018.
  11. Luo, Z., Iaffaldano, B.J., Cornish, K., Colchicine-induced polyploidy has the potential to improve rubber yield in Taraxacum kok-saghyz. Industrial Crops and Products 112: 75-81, 2018. (on line 11/10/2017)
  12. Junkong, P., Cornish, K., Ikeda, Y., Characteristics of mechanical properties of sulphur cross-linked guayule and dandelion natural rubbers. RSC Advances 7: 50739-50752, 2017.
  13. Luo, Z., Iaffaldano, B.J., Zhuang, X., Fresnedo-Ramírez, J., Cornish, K. Analysis of the first Taraxacum kok-saghyz transcriptome reveals potential rubber yield-related SNPs, Scientific Reports 7: 9939-9952, 2017.
  14. Benzle, K.A., Cornish, K., Improved axenic hydroponic whole plant propagation for rapid production of roots as transformation target tissue. Plant Methods 13: 37 - 45, 2017.
  15. Sikandar, S., Ujor, V.C., Ezeji, T.C., Rossington, J., Michel, F.C. Jr., McMahan, C.M., Ali, N., Cornish, K.  Thermomyces lanuginosus STm; a source of thermostable hydrolytic enzymes for novel application in extraction of high-quality natural rubber from Taraxacum kok-saghyz.  Industrial Crops and Products 103: 161-168, 2017.
  16. Iaffaldano. B.J., Zhang, Y., Cardina, J., Cornish, K. Genome size variation among common dandelion accessions informs their mode of reproduction and suggests absence of sexual diploids in North America. Plant Systematics and Evolution 303: 719-725, 2017. 
  17. Cornish, K., Alternative natural rubber crops: why should we care? Technology and Innovation 18: 245-256, 2017.
  18. Zhang, Y., Iaffaldano. B.J., Zhuang, X., Cardina, J., Cornish, K. Chloroplast genome resources and molecular markers differentiate rubber dandelion species from weedy relatives. BMC Plant Biology 17:34-48, 2017.
  19. Cornish, K., Rubber Production, Encyclopedia of Applied Plant Sciences, Second edition, Volume 3, 410-419, 2017.
  20. Ramirez-Cadavid, D.A., Cornish, K., Michel Jr., F.C. Taraxacum kok-saghyz (TK): Compositional analysis of a feedstock for natural rubber and other bioproducts, Industrial Crops and Products 107: 624–640, 2017.
  21. Abdul Ghaffar, M.A., Meulia, T., Cornish, K. Laticifer and rubber particle ontogeny in Taraxacum kok-saghyz (Rubber Dandelion) roots, Microscopy and Microanalysis 22(S3):1034-1035, 2016.  DOI: 10.1017/S1431927616006012
  22. Cornish. K., Kopicky, S.L., McNulty, S.K., Amstutz, N., Chanon, A.M., Walker, S., Kleinhenz, M.D., Miller, A.R., Streeter, J.G. Temporal diversity of Taraxacum kok-saghyz plants reveals high rubber yield phenotypes. Biodiversitas 17: 847-856, 2016.
  23. Ikeda, Y., Preeyanuch, J., Ohashi, T., Phakkeeree, T., Sakaki, Y., Tohsan, A., Kohjiya, S., Cornish, K., Strain-induced crystallization behaviours of natural rubbers from guayule and rubber dandelion revealed by simultaneous time-resolved WAXD/tensile measurements: indispensable function for sustainable resources. RSC Adv. 6: 95601-95610, 2016.   DOI: 10.1039/C6RA22455E
  24. Iaffaldano, B.J., Zhang, Y., Cornish, K., CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing of rubber producing dandelion Taraxacum kok-saghyz using Agrobacterium rhizogenes without selection. Industrial Crops and Products 98: 356-362, 2016.
  25. Cornish, K., Xie, W., Kostyal, D., Shintani, D., Hamilton, R.G., Immunological analysis of the alternate natural rubber crop Taraxacum kok-saghyz indicates multiple proteins cross-reactive with Hevea brasiliensis latex allergens. J. Biotechnology and Biomaterials 5:201-207, 2015. doi: 10.4172/2155-925X.10000207
  26. Ujor, V., Bharathidasan, A.K., Michel, F.C.Jr., Ezeji. T.C., Cornish, K. Butanol production from inulin-rich chicory and Taraxacum kok-saghyz extracts: determination of sugar utilization profile of Clostridium saccharobutylicum P262. Industrial Crops and Products 76: 739-748, 2015.
  27. Zhang, Y., Iaffaldano, B.J., Xie, W., Blakeslee, J.J., Cornish, K. Rapid and hormone-free Agrobacterium rhizogenes-mediated transformation in rubber producing dandelions Taraxacum kok-saghyz and T. brevicorniculatum. Industrial Crops and Products 66:110-118, 2015.


Zinan “Lily” Luo

  • Best published paper in HCS award, 2018

Katrina Cornish

  • 2018 OSU Innovator of the year
  • 2019 Institute of Materials Research Innovator of the year
  • 2019 College of Food Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Innovator of the Year
  • 2019 BEPS Lifetime Achievement Award from the Bio-Environmental Polymer Society

Invention Disclosures



  • Cornish. K., What is the chance of herbicide resistance in Buckeye Gold – the rubber dandelion industrial crop – jumping over to common dandelion? Ohio’s County Journal April 19, 2018.

Strategic Area

  • Biomass and Bioproducts