Biosynthesis of Rubber

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  08 Oct 1954:
Vol. 120, Issue 3119, pp. 549-551
DOI: 10.1126/science.120.3119.549


The problem of how rubber is synthesized in the plant has been divided into two portions:(i) the nature of the monomer used and how thismonomer is synthesized, and (ii) the nature of thepolymerization reaction by which the monomer istransformed to rubber. With respect to the first, themonomer appears to be the 5-carbon branched-chaincompound β-methylcrotonic acid or a derivativethereof. This substance is synthesized in the plantfrom acetyl-coA. With respect to the second, no information is available, since polymerization of the5-carbon monomer units to polymers has not yet beenachieved outside the living plant.