Biotechnological Advances in Rubber Tree (Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg.) Breeding

  • Sankaran SobhaEmail author
  • Karumamkandathil Rekha
  • Thomas K. Uthup


The aim of Hevea breeding is to provide new varieties/clones which are genetically superior in terms of yield, disease tolerance, better adaptability to climatic fluctuations and good timber quality. Although traditional breeding strategies could achieve a substantial increase in yield, breaking the current yield plateau is possible only with the aid of nonconventional breeding strategies. In addition to large-scale propagation, tissue culture holds unique advantages for crop improvement and this has been utilized successfully in many crops for specific purposes. Various tissue-culture techniques like somatic embryogenesis, embryo rescue, culture of protoplast, anther, pollen and embryo sac are practiced in Hevea. Interventions were also made in the area of molecular breeding through the development of molecular markers and through Agrobacterium-mediated genetic manipulation. The present chapter gives an overview on the constraints in Hevea breeding and reviews the progress of in vitro techniques comprehensively towards complementing conventional breeding. A road map to effectively combine the traditional and non-traditional methods for future Hevea breeding is presented. This takes on importance in the present scenario of unprecedented climatic vagaries and resource constraints. Progress made in the advancement of biotechnological applications in the natural rubber-producing tree Hevea brasiliensis Muell. Arg. worldwide and its implications in breeding are described in detail.


Hevea In vitro culture Somatic embryogenesis Anther culture Cryopreservation Embryo rescue Genetic manipulation Haploids 



The authors thank Dr. James Jacob (Director of Research) for the encouragement and advice, Dr. P. Kumari Jayasree for providing literature support, Dr. T. Meenakumari and Dr. Deepthy Antony for their critical comments during the manuscript preparation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sankaran Sobha
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karumamkandathil Rekha
    • 2
  • Thomas K. Uthup
    • 2
  1. 1.Rubber Research Institute of India (Retd)KeralaIndia
  2. 2.Advance Centre for Molecular Biology and BiotechnologyRubber Research Institute of India, Rubber BoardKottayamIndia

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