Bridgestone develops new method to identify white root disease in para rubber trees

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Bridgestone, which recently won Tire Manufacturer of the Year in the Tire Technology International Awards 2016, has developed a groundbreaking technique that can be used to easily, quickly and accurately diagnose white root disease in para rubber trees, which are the primary source for natural rubber used in tires. 

In Southeast Asia, where more than 90% of the world’s natural rubber is grown, white root rot disease continues to spread due to pathogens in the soil. The disease can currently only be identified by visual inspection through digging into the soil around the tree, which means detection accuracy is low. This process is time-consuming and often leads to late detections and misdiagnoses, causing damage from the disease to spread.

Bridgestone has developed a reagent kit based on the genetic structure of the disease-causing pathogens, which is central to the technique, called the LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) method. This technique can easily confirm the presence of the pathogen in the field by non-experts and without the use of special equipment. It will help control the spread of the disease from infected trees to healthy ones and enable damage control and plantation management.

Bridgestone has been cooperating since 2010 with the Indonesian Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) and numerous universities to promote the development of technologies that diagnose white root rot disease more quickly. Going forward, Bridgestone will continue to cooperate with universities in both Indonesia and Japan to further reinforce and promote the development of technologies to improve natural rubber production.

For a feature on natural rubber click here.

March 3, 2016

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the ground-breaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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