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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Improvement and Utilization of Natural Rubber- and Castor Oil-producing Industrial Crops

Location: Crop Improvement & Utilization Research

Title: A review on the challenges for increassed production of castor

Authors
item Severino, Liv -
item Auld, Dick -
item Baldanzi, Marco -
item Chen, Grace
item He, Xiaohua
item Crosby, William -
item Machado, Olga -
item Morris, John
item Zieler, Helge -

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: August 20, 2012
Publication Date: July 1, 2012
Citation: Severino, L.S., Auld, D.L., Baldanzi, M., Chen, G.Q., He, X., Crosby, W., Machado, O.L., Morris, J.B., Zieler, H. 2012. A review on the challenges for increassed production of castor. Agronomy Journal. 104(4):853-880.

Interpretive Summary: Castor oil production corresponds to 0.15% of vegetable oils produced in the world (Scholz and Silva, 2008). Although it is a minor crop when compared to oilseeds such as palm, soybean, and rapeseed, and for that reason, castor oil is a non-edible product, with large use in the chemical industry due to some physic-chemical properties not found in any other commercial vegetable oil like a hydroxilated fatty acid that comprises close to 90% of the fatty acids profile. In addition to the chemical industry demand, there is increasing interest on castor as an alternative for biofuel. This oilseed has potential for acquiring higher importance among vegetable oils, and this review aims to present the state of the art and discuss factors that have limited the expansion of castor cultivation. The analysis of the limiting factors from the past and present scientific advancements can be used for finding ways to promote the growth of castor production the worldwide.

Technical Abstract: The oil produced by castor (Ricinus communis) is an important raw material for chemical industry for its unique properties such as the only commercial source of a hydroxilated fatty acid that composes around 90% of the oil. This crop has a remarkable potential for increasing importance as a raw material for traditional industry and for the emerging biofuel demand. This article aims to review main aspects and recent achievements on the research of castor worldwide in order to unveil the challenges for promoting the increase in its production. The topics discussed include the first draft genome of castor sequence, Genetics and Breeding of present demands of farmers, industry, and society. Aspects of agricultural production such as seeds, fertilization, irrigation, diseases, and response to abiotic stresses were assessed. A section is devoted to a deep approach on the noxious substances ricin, ricinine, and allergens, and also on the detoxification and use of castor meal as feed and as organic fertilizer. The technical viability of castor as an alternative for biodiesel is discussed, and recent statistics of world production, consumption and prices are presented. A discussion about the potential for castor crop growth and the challenges that the research will have to handle is provided as the closing section.

Last Modified: 9/23/2014
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