Rubber Plant: Aspects of Biology for yield Production
The Rubber tree has various advantages that make it a valuable raw resource for numerous goods. The inner bark of a rubber tree contains a cluster of particular cells known as laticifers, or latex vessels, which are harvested to produce latex by slicing through the outer layers of the bark structure. Multiple unique soft and hard layers combine to generate the bark structure. The laticifers that finally give rise to rows of cells as concentric cylinders of parenchyma tissues and tube cells are known as soft bark. Within this species, the bark thickness varies, and the surface colour ranges from reddish purple to dark purple and from pale brown to brown. Young rubber trees occasionally even have a brown-green striped bark. The size of the seeds varies, but they typically exhibit dark brown or grey-brown mottling. Additionally, this species produces thick, green fruit capsules with three lobes and seeds.
By removing the outer layers of a rubber tree’s bark structure and collecting the inner bark’s laticifers (often referred to as latex vessels), natural rubber or latex can be obtained (Shamsul Bahri, 2000). The structure of the bark is divided into several soft and hard layers. The laticifers that finally give rise to rows of cells as concentric cylinders of parenchymatous tissues and tube cells are known as soft bark. The laticifers are placed in rows that are regularly spaced and roughly parallel to the cambium, which eventually rises in the trunk of a tree. Hard bark, on the other hand, is the waterproof layer, forming a cork layer that barely generates latex due to its quantity of stone cells and active phellogen (Barlow, 1978; Gomez, 1982).
A Rubber tree’s leaves are usually organized in three leaflets, occasionally with noticeable leaf stories and canopies, and they frequently undergo leaf defoliation once a year (Webster and Paardekooper, 1989; Schultes, 1990). Different planting materials seen in H. brasiliensis can be identified by characteristics like leaf shape and orientation (Md.Zain et al., 1997; Mercykutty et al., 2002). In the plant kingdom, leaf characteristics often exhibit more morphological variation than stem and root characteristics; leaf form and venation architecture are beneficial identification features (Dale et al., 1971; Hickey, 1973; Dickinson et al., 1987). Hickey (1979) and Mercykutty et al. (2002) discovered the key morphological characteristics for the classification of particular plant species in a type, such as leaf shape, leaf size, leaf venation pattern, leaf edge, and the form of the tip and base of the leaf. To guarantee the proliferation of correctly identified planting materials, the leaf’s existence for clonal identification is especially crucial in budwood nurseries. There are currently more than 200 rubber budwood nurseries in the nation, and both the public and commercial sectors generate about 1 million clonal polybag plants each year (Shamsul Bahri et al., 2013).
The outermost bark layers of rubber trees are methodically removed to collect latex. The interior soft zone (nearer to the cambium) and the external hard zone are two separate layers that make up the anatomical organization of the bark structure of Hevea, According to Gomez (1981) and MRB (2005) (stone cells and cork). Laticifers are successively formed in the cambium region of Hevea, where they develop mostly in the soft bark layer where latex is created. The bark surface and various laticifers in Hevea species were, however, poorly described in earlier research by rubber plant breeders (Frey-Wyssling, 1930, RRIM, 1957; RRIM, 1963, RRIM, 1994). According to theories, the laticifers’ roles include latex manufacturing, physiological functions, cellulose content creation, insect defense, and participation in a transportation pathway (Pakianathan et al., 1989; Kutchan, 2005; Pickard, 2008; Konno, 2011). The rubber tree’s laticifers are described by Esau (1965) and Shamsul Bahri (2000) as a collection of articulated fused cells that support latex and form systems that infiltrate the body of the plant via numerous tissues. Other plant species, such as the papaver and Lactuca (lettuce) species, are part of similar laticifer systems. However, non-articulated laticifers, which are laticifers that are not fused, are created from individual cells and grow into branching or unbranched tube-like structures (de Fay and Jacob, 1989; Shamsul Bahri, 2000; Hagel et al., 2008).
Rubber seeds are essential for providing planting materials for seedlings and as rootstock for bud-grafting of high-yield clones in nations that produce natural rubber. Many nations that produce rubber, including Malaysia, see one or occasionally two seed fall seasons annually. Patterns on the seed coat that show observable changes in size and colour can be used to identify a mature rubber tree. The female parent is responsible for the traits of the rubber seed coat. Regardless of the pollen source, rubber seeds produced by the same female parent are identical, albeit the growing environment may induce variations in seed size (Lacey et al., 1997; Mercykutty et al., 2002). It is possible to confirm the legitimacy of the planting material by using a visual description of the variances in the seeds’ physical traits (Mercykutty et al., 2002; Md.Zain et al., 2003). Dorsal and ventral sides are present on every rubber seed. As opposed to the ventral side, which is essentially flat with lateral cheeks, the dorsal side has a centre ridge and is convex. Grey to light brown, brown, and dark brown are possible shades of the seed coat among planting materials. Various H. brasiliensis planting materials display deep dark or greyish brown striations on the seed coat (Md.Zain et al., 2003).
Frequently Asked Questions
Questions: Is the Rubber plant suitable for home?
Questions: Do Rubber plants need sunlight?
Questions: Are Rubber plants easy to care for?
Questions: Is the Rubber plant good luck?
Questions: What is the lifespan of a Rubber tree plant?
Ans: It can live for more than 100 years