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
Got a couple citrus and don't know what to do
So, I got a lemon tree and a lime tree as housewarming...
beesneeds
Branch Broke. Lemon ID and other Questions
This tree was found growing on our property when we...
Suzi AKA DesertDance
My lemon tree needs help!
Hello, I recently got a new house with some citrus...
Roderick Agius
Need help with my Meyer lemon!
Hi everyone, new to this forum and to gardening in...
wanderess
Help with citrus scale
Hello all, my satsuma mandarin is dropping leaves....
Jeff
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™