Acid Citrus Fruit Improvement via Interploid Hybridization Using Allotetraploid Somatic Hybrid and Autotetraploid Breeding Parents

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 La Universidad del Zulia, Departamento Botanica, Maracaibo, Edo. Zulia, Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela 4005ZU
  • 2 Department of Horticulture, University of Florida, IFAS, Citrus Research and Education Center (CREC), 700 Experiment Station Road, Lake Alfred, FL 33850

Interploid hybridization was conducted using `Key' lime [Citrus aurantifolia (Cristm.) Swing.], `Lakeland' limequat hybrid [C. aurantifolia × Fortunella japonica (Thumb.) Swing.], Palestine sweet lime (C. limettioides Tan.), `Etrog' citron (C. medica L.), and seven lemon [C. limon (L.) Burm. F.] varieties as female progenitors and five allotetraploid somatic hybrids {`Hamlin' sweet orange [C. sinensis (L.) Osbeck] × `Femminello' lemon (C. limon)]; `Key' lime × `Valencia' sweet orange (C. sinensis); `Valencia' sweet orange × rough lemon (C. jambhiri Lush); Milam lemon (purported C. jambhiri hybrid) × `Femminello' lemon (C. limon); and `Valencia' sweet orange × `Femminello' lemon} and two autotetraploids [`Giant Key' lime (C. aurantifolia) and `Femminello' lemon] as pollen progenitors. A few tetraploid × diploid crosses were also performed. Thirty-five parental cross combinations were accomplished in 2000, 2001, and 2002. The breeding targets were seedlessness, cold-tolerance, and disease resistance. Triploid hybrids were recovered through embryo culture. Generation of triploid citrus hybrids was affected by several factors including sexual compatibility, cross direction, embryo developmental stage, pollen viability, as well as horticultural practices and climatic conditions. Efficiency of triploid hybrid production was higher in diploid × tetraploid crosses than the reciprocal. Many more triploid hybrids were generated from lemon seed progenitors compared to the other acid citrus fruit progenitors. `Todo el Año', `Lisbon', and `Limonero Fino 49' showed the highest sexual compatibility. Embryo germination rate and normal plant recovery were also higher in lemons as compared to the other seed progenitors. Low winter temperatures might have affected the hybrid production efficiency from tropical acid fruit progenitors. A total of 650 hybrids (mostly triploid) were transferred to soil. The novel genetic combinations of these progenies should be valuable for the genetic improvement of acid citrus fruit (lemons and limes).

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Contributor Notes

Corresponding author: Phone (863) 956-1151; Fax: (863) 956-4631; E-mail: jwg@crec.ufl.edu
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