Breeder Discusses New Fresh Citrus Varieties

Josh McGillFresh, Varieties

In a virtual presentation, plant breeder Jude Grosser discussed recently released citrus varieties that might work well in the fresh fruit market. Grosser is a professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences’ (UF/IFAS) Citrus Research and Education Center.

Citrus Varieties
Gator Bites

Here’s a look at some of the varieties he addressed:

Grosser described Marathon as the “best option” for a high-quality mandarin. “They’re doing very well against HLB” with virtually no HLB-symptomatic fruit, he said. He added the fruit is delicious, seedless and easy-to-peel.

Other mandarins he discussed included:

  • UF 950, which is easy-to-peel, seedless and Clementine size
  • RES 19-56, a good candidate for citrus under protective screen
  • Gator Bites, a mandarin hybrid that is nearly seedless, easy-to-peel and has HLB tolerance with proper nutrition practices
  • N40FW-5-1, which Grosser says has exceptional flavor, is not completely seedless, is not a “zipper skin” but can be peeled, and has reasonable HLB tolerance

UF 914 is a hybrid that is seedless, has a slightly thicker peel than grapefruit and is grapefruit size.

Grapefruit-like hybrid C2-5-3 is more tolerant of HLB than standard grapefruit and is canker tolerant.

NB-19-17, another grapefruit-like hybrid, is more canker tolerant and more HLB tolerant than traditional grapefruit.

New nearly seedless lemon clones that Grosser said are now available for trial as a “good dooryard tree opportunity” include:

  • CE-D-5 1-9-42 (Eureka lemon type)
  • TDA-D-3 1-16-19 (Todo el Ano lemon type)
  • BEA D5 1-15-23 (Bearss lemon type)
  • LIS D5 1-9-46 (Lisbon lemon type)

The UF SunLime is HLB tolerant. Preliminary data indicates UF RedLime trees are also HLB tolerant. Grosser said both finger limes have many uses, including for salad garnishes and for squeezing onto the edges of margarita cocktail glasses. 

The plant breeder suggested that growers interested in any of these new varieties contact him or a UF/IFAS citrus Extension agent for more information.

Grosser’s virtual presentation on new varieties and rootstocks, hosted by multi-county citrus Extension agent Mongi Zekri, can be viewed here.

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Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large

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