Scientists release new citrus variety with sweet taste, very few seeds

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Washington, August 5 (ANI): Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have come up with a new variety of citrus fruit that is sweet to eat, bears very few seeds, has attractive appearance.

Named 'DaisySL' for Daisy seedless, the new fruit bears a deep organge colour.

"We are extremely enthusiastic about this fruit which distinguishes itself by being very low-seeded and moderately easy to peel. In Riverside, California, 'DaisySL' matures in mid-December and holds its fruit quality characteristics into February.

Early January to early February is the best time to pick this fruit from the tree," said Mikeal Roose, a professor of genetics in the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, who developed 'DaisySL' along with staff scientist Timothy Williams.

Williams, who supervised the planting of the trees and performs evaluations and selections of promising varieties, said that 'DaisySL' had beautiful appearance, exceptional flavour and hardly any seeds, the qualities he and Roose were looking for in a new variety.

"'DaisySL' is similar to many other selections we evaluated, but it stood out from the rest, and we knew right off that we had something special," he said.

Still, the researcher added, he and Roose continued evaluating the fruit, and waited for eight years, from when they saw it on a single tree, to announce it as a new variety ready for UC Riverside to release.

The researchers have revealed that they developed DaisySL from an irradiated bud of the seedy diploid mandarin cultivar 'Daisy', a mid-season maturing variety that is a hybrid of the mandarins Fortune and Fremont.

Just as happens with most citrus trees, say the researchers, 'DaisySL' was asexually reproduced by grafting of budwood onto rootstocks.

In September, the university will release 'DaisySL' for propagation by California citrus nurseries that have purchased licenses to propagate, and sell the variety in the state.

Roose and Williams estimate it will be five years before the first 'DaisySL' fruit arrives in grocery stores because it takes one or two years for the industry to make enough budwood for commercial budding, another year to produce a tree, and an additional two to three years to produce the first fruit. (ANI)

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