The origin of citrus fruits

Through our subsidiary company IGA-Tech, IGA's commitment to explore somaclonal variation in vegetatively propagated crops has extended to citrus fruits.

The assembled genome of a haploid clementine has provided the reference Citrus sequence and insights into the ancient origin of cultivated citrus types. The PON-Citrus project offered IGA the opportunity of producing de novo genome assemblies of the three ancestral species (mandarin, pummelo and citron) that generated different citrus crops.

Genetic variation in twenty cultivated sweet oranges was investigated with our pipeline for somatic variants.  All "varieties" of sweet orange arose through somatic mutations. Shared and private SNPs provided enough resolution for inferring clone phylogeny. Blood oranges have highly diverged from blond oranges. Variation within blond oranges (common oranges versus navels) is higher than variation within blood oranges. The extent of SNP variation within each "cultivar group" (common oranges, navels, Moro, Tarocco) is fairly similar.

PON-Citrus is a collaborative project with Parco Tecnologico Padano Lodi, University of Padua, CREA Acireale

Funded to IGA-Tech by PON Ricerca e Competitività 2007-2013, Fondo Europeo di Sviluppo Regionale