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Citrus phylogeny and genetic origin of important species as investigated by molecular markers

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Citrus phylogeny was investigated using RAPD, SCAR and cpDNA markers. The genotypes analyzed included 36 accessions belonging to Citrus together with 1 accession from each of the related genera Poncirus, Fortunella, Microcitrus and Eremocitrus. Phylogenetic analysis with 262 RAPDs and 14 SCARs indicated that Fortunella is phylogenetically close to Citrus while the other three related genera are distant from Citrus and from each other. Within Citrus, the separation into two subgenera, Citrus and Papeda, designated by Swingle, was clearly observed except for C. celebica and C. indica. Almost all the accessions belonging to subgenus Citrus fell into three clusters, each including 1 genotype that was considered to be a true species. Different phylogenetic relationships were revealed with cpDNA data. Citrus genotypes were separated into subgenera Archicitrus and Metacitrus, as proposed by Tanaka, while the division of subgenera Citrus and Papeda disappeared. C. medica and C. indica were quite distant from other citrus as well from related genera. C. ichangensis appeared to be the ancestor of the mandarin cluster, including C. tachibana. Lemon and Palestine sweet lime were clustered into the Pummelo cluster led by C. latipes. C. aurantifolia was located in the Micrantha cluster. Furthermore, genetic origin was studied on 17 cultivated citrus genotypes by the same molecular markers, and a hybrid origin was hypothesized for all the tested genotypes. The assumptions are discussed with respect to previous studies; similar results were obtained for the origin of orange and grapefruit. Hybrids of citron and sour orange were assumed for lemon, Palestine sweet lime, bergamot and Volkamer lemon, while a citron × mandarin hybrid was assumed for Rangpur lime and Rough lemon. For Mexican lime our molecular data indicated C. micrantha to be the female parent and C. medica as the male one.

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Received: 5 October 1999 / Accepted: 3 November 1999

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Nicolosi, E., Deng, Z., Gentile, A. et al. Citrus phylogeny and genetic origin of important species as investigated by molecular markers. Theor Appl Genet 100, 1155–1166 (2000).

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