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Browsing by Subject "ricin toxin"

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  • Fallström, Sirpa (2014)
    Ricinus communis L., also known as castor, is a worldwide cultivated plant. Castor seeds are a source of castor oil, an important ingredient in industry. Castor seeds also include one of the most toxic natural compounds - ricin toxin. Ricin toxin has medical purposes, but it can be abused. There is fear that it will be used as a biological weapon or with terrorism. Ricin is listed as a forbidden chemical on Chemical Weapons Convention, CWC. Ricinus is regarded as a monotypic genus, but there is strong variability in its characters. This study concentrates on the taxonomical classification of the Ricinus varieties. Here is represented a taxonomical description of following varieties: "AGF-6", "AGF-M", 'Blue Giant', 'Cambodgensis', 'Carmencita Bright Red', 'Gibsonii', 'Green Giant', 'Impala', 'New Zealand Purple', 'Sanguineus', var. zanzibarensis (mixed), and 'Zanzi Palm'. Also an identification key for varieties is shown. This study is made for VERIFIN (Finnish Institute for Verification of the Chemical Weapons Convention). If the chemical composition especially with the amount of ricin toxin correlates with the morphological characters, the taxonomical classification can provide an important identification tool. This way the monitoring of chemical weapons can be facilitated.