Unfertilized Citrus Seedlings?

jcaldeira(Tropical - Fiji)October 28, 2011

Many of the rootstock seeds I plant come up with two shoots and have two separate taproots. Are both of these fertilized, or is one a genetic clone of the mother tree?

I am unable to obtain scion wood for many good citrus varieties here in Fiji due to strict and necessary biosecurity regulations. However, importing seeds present far less risk and, though taking longer to fruit, may enable me to grow some exciting newer varieties.

If some of the seed spouts are a genetic clone of their mother tree, how can I tell which one?

Thanks,

John

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
citrange2

In general, you can't!
In a few particular cases - which are unlikely in seeds from commercially grown fruit - it is possible. For instance, if the pollen parent is trifoliate, then trifoliate seedlings are the result of fertilisation. Similarly, with other varieties that have markedly different leaf characteristics.
However, seedlings from some citrus varieties are virtually always clones as the fertilised embryo does not develop. In others, if you sow a lot of seeds in identical conditions you will find most are very similar and some are obviously slightly different. The similar ones are likely to be clones. Other citrus, such as pummelos, always produce variable fertilised seedlings.
There are lists and research papers around on the internet which rank citrus species and varieties according to these characteristics.
You will need to do some Googling on citrus polyembriony and zygotic seedlings etc.
Alternatively, just sow the seeds and enjoy the results! You are quite likely to get a clone or something very similar to the parent.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 12:49PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
jcaldeira(Tropical - Fiji)

Citrange,
Thanks for suggesting search terms. From that I learned about nucllar embryony, which I what I want to obtain from seed: Seedlings that are formed from the seed tissue without genetic qualities from the pollen provider.

According to some webpages, it is common in some citrus varieties, such as rough lemon and sour orange, while rare in others. It seems the first shoots are the ones most likely to be unfertilized, and the later shoots zygotic.

From the webpage linked below, quoting Tom McClendon in 'Hardy Citrus for the South East':

"Most common citrus such as oranges, grapefruit, lemons and most mandarins are polyembryonic and will come true to type. .... The good news is that polyembryony helps stabilize varieties, which allows seeds to be passed around with little chance of spreading diseases such as viruses. This unique characteristic allows amateurs to grow citrus from seed, something you can't do with, say, apples."

Now I am optimistic!

John

Here is a link that might be useful: Citrus Pages - Nucellar Embryony

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 3:45PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Fertilising in Gritty mix
Hello everyone, OK, this may be a really basic question,...
bopwinter
Mexican Lemon
There is not much about this tree even here. Does anyone...
Frank Car
Meyer leaves issue
Hello, My container meyer is having issues. Leaves...
eshieh1
New growth still light greenish
I recently acquired 2 page oranges and one has had...
sgreer13
sweet citrus trees in 2015 diary
this is my diary of my citrus trees from the last 2...
Steve, Z (6Bground,5B roof) Cincy,OH
Sponsored Products
Stella Rectangular: 5 Ft. 3 In. x 7 Ft. 6 In. Rug
$209.00 | Bellacor
Grapefruit Double Knife
$5.99 | zulily
Stella Rectangular: 5 Ft. 3 In. x 7 Ft. 6 In. Rug
$209.00 | Bellacor
Mysqueeze by Alessi
$75.00 | Lumens
Citrus - Satin Turquoise Ovo Table Lamp with Color Finial
Lamps Plus
Citrus Zinger Water Bottle
$18.00 | Horchow
Citrus Narrow Zig Zag Double Gourd Table Lamp
Lamps Plus
Citrus Oval Glass Vessel Sink
Signature Hardware
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™