Guayule (Parthenium argentatum Gray) is a potential source of commercial natural rubber. Its commercialisation depends mainly on economical plant production. The objective of this study was to evaluate the performance of improved lines in Australia. Seeds from five improved lines (AZ-1, AZ-2, AZ-3, AZ-5 and AZ-6) and two previously developed guayule lines (N 565 and 11591) were obtained from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Seedlings from these lines were grown in a glasshouse for 3 months and later transplanted in a field experiment in early September 2001. Plant height and width were monitored from transplanting to 62 weeks at regular intervals. After 62 weeks, plant dry matter production, rubber and resin content, and yields were analysed. Plant height and width of the improved lines were higher than N 565 and 11591. Plant dry matter, rubber and resin yields were significantly different among lines. Of the five lines, AZ-1 and AZ-2 produced rubber yields of 620 and 550 kg/ha, respectively and these yields were significantly greater than for N 565 (371 kg/ha) and 11591 (391 kg/ha). AZ-1 and AZ-2 also produced significantly higher resin yields, 727 and 668 kg/ha, respectively, than those for N 565 (436 kg/ha) and 11591 (325 kg/ha). Rubber and resin yield increase of lines, AZ-1 and AZ-2, were in the range of 41-68% and 53-123%, respectively over N 565 and 11591. AZ-1 tended to produce higher rubber and resin yields than AZ-2 but exhibited highly variable plant height (CV = 25%) and width (CV = 41%) indicating potential for further genetic improvement. AZ-2 offers the best combination of desirable characters including early vigour, uniformity and comparatively higher rubber and resin yields. (C) 2003 Published by Elsevier B.V.