Yulex Corporation, a Maricopa, Arizona company that develops clean technologies to derive bio-based materials and products including natural latex, rubber and renewable energy sources from the desert plant guayule (why-YOU-lee), has added two experts in its efforts to create new industrial products from the crop.

Dr. Lauren Johnson, a leading expert in plant breeding, joins Yulex Corporation as Agricultural Research Director and Jim Mitchell joins as Senior Director of Technology Development respectively.

Guayule produces a natural rubber with fewer proteins and does not produce the allergic reactions some people experience from traditional rubber. As petroleum prices continue to rise, there is renewed interest in sustainable, domestic sources for things like rubber.

As the Agricultural Research Director, Dr. Johnson will lead efforts in developing guayule breeding programs. Previously at Cal/West Seeds in Woodland, California, Johnson brings with him vast knowledge and experience in optimizing seed yields and seed quality, developing high quality proprietary plant varieties, and identifying plant varieties for salt tolerance.