- Among the nearly 160 varieties of citrus available for tasting, none appeared ready to upstage the seedless Tango mandarin.
- Irradiation of bud wood has been a key to stepping up mutation processes that can lead to a new desirable variety.
- It can take 15 years to come up with a commercial variety from the time irradiation is first done.
Kahn pointed to a couple quirky items in the demonstration grove. One was the California Rojo orange, which researchers suspect could be the Cara Cara. It may have been given a new name in Corsica, France.
Participants in the tour joked that a name change for the Cara Cara might be in order. “This is more romantic,” one said.
Kahn also showcased a varietal called Lemonade, pointing out that its origins appear to have been from bud wood brought unlawfully from New Zealand into the United States. She said the citrus clonal program took care to “clean up” bud wood because the tree was infested with viruses.”
She said what had to be done with the tree should serve as a strong reminder to growers to avoid unlawful planting of bud wood that has not been cleared for use. “It’s not the route you want to go, and you need to keep reminding your neighbors,” she said.
Kahn urged participants to attend a citrus day Jan. 26 at UC Riverside that will include discussions on Asian Citrus Psyllid, tours of the citrus variety collection and the U.S. Department of Agriculture national clonal germplasm repository and discussion of citrus flavors.