Bridgestone Pioneers New Technique to Easily Diagnose Disease in Para Rubber Trees
Tokyo (Feb, 9, 2016) - Bridgestone announced recently it has established a groundbreaking technique that can be used to easily, quickly, and accurately diagnose white root rot disease*1 in para rubber trees, which are the primary source for natural rubber used in tires and other rubber applications. With the establishment of this technique, Bridgestone is supporting to conserve para rubber trees and contribute to a more stable supply of natural rubber as worldwide demand continues to increase.
With the increasing world population and the proliferation of motorized vehicles, the need for tires is expected to continue to expand in the future. Accordingly, the amount of natural rubber consumed is also expected to increase. 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. Since currently white root rot disease can only be identified by visual inspection, detection accuracy is low. Visual inspections can only be performed by digging into the soil around the tree. The complexity is time-consuming and often leads to late detections and misdiagnoses, causing damage from the disease to spread.
To respond to this issue, Bridgestone has been cooperating since 2010 with the Indonesian Agency for the Assessment and Application of Technology and numerous universities to promote development of technologies that diagnosis white root rot disease in a prompt manner.
Bridgestone has now established the LAMP Method*2, a diagnosis technique that utilizes biotechnologies. The company has developed a reagent kit based on the genetic structure of the disease-causing pathogens. The LAMP Method is a groundbreaking and advanced technique that can confirm the presence of the pathogen in the field easily, without the use of special equipment. With the LAMP Method, the early detection of white root rot disease is now possible, and it is anticipated that this technique will help control the spread of the disease from infected trees to healthy ones. In addition, by expanding this technique, which can be utilized regardless of knowledge and experience, damage control and maintenance can be performed easily. In this way, the LAMP Method is expected to have an enormous effect in terms of plantation management as well.