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Studies on the origin of the lemon


, : Studies on the origin of the lemon. Hilgardia 42(9): 361-382

From studies with varieties of Citrus medica, C. aurantifolia and C. limon and 100 intraspecific hybrids between two clones of Eureka and five of Lisbon lemons, it is shown that (1) C. limon is heterozygous; (2) anthocyanin development in flower buds and young leaves appears to be controlled by a single dominant gene; (3) anthocyanin in young stems appears to be controlled by two genes, one of which also controls flower-bud and young-leaf colour; (4) preformed root initials seem to be controlled by one gene and leaf articulation by at least two genes; (5) C. medica was an ancestor of C. limon; (6) C. aurantifolia, C. jambhiri and C. limon have a common ancestry; and (7) the deviation of some hybrids from their parents or putative ancestors indicates the presence of an unidentified gene source in C. limon ancestry.It is concluded that sterility and wide character segregation argues against the specific standing of C. limon. It appears to have a common gene source with the citron-lime group and may be a derived hybrid involving some unidentified taxa. The overlapping geographical distribution of various Citrus taxa at the assumed centre of origin of C. limon suggests the possibility of intercrossing or the common origin of Citrus species.

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