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Genetic variation of Citrus and related genera with ornamental potential


The interest in Citrus and related genera as ornamental plants has increased in recent years, motivating studies aimed at identifying genotypes, varieties and hybrids suitable for this purpose. The Citrus Active Germplasm Bank of the Embrapa Cassava & Fruits, a research unit of the Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation—Embrapa, contains more than 750 accessions with wide genetic variability, and their utilization for ornamental purposes is the objective of this study. For this purpose, we characterized 37 accessions with ornamental potential, classified in four categories for use in floriculture: potted plants, minifruit, hedges and landscaping. Through the use of 39 quantitative and qualitative morphological descriptors, the following accessions stood out for use landscaping and as potted plants: ‘Variegated’ calamondin, ‘Nasnaran’ mandarin, ‘Chinotto’ orange, ‘Trifoliate limeberry’, ‘Papeda Kalpi’, ‘Talamisan’ orange, ‘Wart Java’ lime, and ‘Chinese box-orange’, besides accessions of the genera Fortunella, Poncirus and Microcitrus. Among the accessions identified as having potential for use as minifruit plants, the common ‘Sunki’ mandarin was the most suitable, and in the hedge category, ‘Chinese box-orange’ and ‘Trifoliate limeberry’ stood out. The results obtained provide information to support citrus breeding programs for ornamental purposes.

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Citrus active germplasm bank


Unweighted pair group method using an arithmetic average


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The authors acknowledge the support of Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico—CNPq (472492/2011-0), and Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES) for the scholarships granted. We also thank the researcher Orlando Sampaio Passos, curator of the Citrus Active Germplasm Bank of Embrapa Cassava & Fruits, and the anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions.

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Correspondence to Walter dos Santos Soares Filho.

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dos Santos, A.R.A., de Souza, E.H., Souza, F.V.D. et al. Genetic variation of Citrus and related genera with ornamental potential. Euphytica 205, 503–520 (2015).

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  • Fruits
  • Floriculture
  • Genetic diversity
  • Morphological descriptors
  • Ornamental plants
  • Pre-breeding