The castor bean (Ricinus communis) is a flowering plant and the only species in its genus. It is native to the Mediterranean region and Eastern Africa but is also cultivated in tropical areas around the world. The castor bean is valued for the many metabolites it produces. The castor oil in its seeds is often used as a food preservative, and it has varying uses as well in medicine and industry. The main component of castor oil is the lipid ricinolein, which is commonly used as a lubricant. Uncooked castor beans are highly toxic, since they contain the ribosome-binding protein ricin. The castor bean plant genome is diploid with a size of 350 Mb.
Chan, A.P., Crabtree, J., Zhao, Q., Lorenzi, H., Orvis, J., Puiu, D., Melake-Berhan, A., Jones, K.M., Redman, J., Chen, G. and Cahoon, E.B., 2010. Draft genome sequence of the oilseed species Ricinus communis. Nature biotechnology, 28(9), p.951.
Content written by Galyna Vakulenko Summer Intern 2018