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International Citrus Corporation

Tracking down the parents of sweet orange

Tracking down the parents of sweet orange

Valencia, Spain – Detailing the ancestry of sweet orange has been a long-sought prize for citrus scientists. On Friday, the leader of a group that has been analyzing the genetic makeup of citrus said in a scientific talk that the ponkan -- a large, loose-skinned type of mandarin widely cultivated in Asia and Brazil -- was the likely father of the sweet orange. The mother of the orange, its seed parent, was almost certainly a hybrid that was three-quarters pummelo and one-quarter mandarin, said Fred Gmitter Jr., professor of citrus genetics at the University of Florida, speaking at the International Citrus Congress in Valencia, Spain. That would make the orange roughly five-eighths...

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