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Retracing early cultivation steps: Lessons from comparing citrus genomes
Date:6/8/2014

ers at the DOE JGI, the University of Florida, and 454 Life Sciences, a Roche company. By understanding the relationships between the various cultivated species with what they describe as "very narrow genetic diversity," the researchers hope to enable sequence-directed improvement, which could lead to crops that are more resistant to disease and stresses such as environmental changes.

The analyses revealed that while pummelos represent a single citrus species (Citrus maxima), the same cannot be said of cultivated mandarins, even those long held as not having intermixed with other varieties. Comparing sequences of so-called "traditional" mandarins such as the Asian cultivar Ponkan and the Mediterranean cultivar Willowleaf with mandarins known to be developed hybrids indicated that all contain segments of the pummelo genome. The "wild" Mangshan mandarin from China is an exception to the rule, as its genome revealed it was in fact a separate species from other cultivated mandarins.

The findings echo Gmitter's quip when he spoke at the DOE JGI's 7th Annual Genomics of Energy & Environment Meeting in March 2012. "Citrus has incestuous genes," he told the audience. "Nothing is pure."


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Contact: David Gilbert
degilbert@lbl.gov
925-321-1107
DOE/Joint Genome Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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