Nat Biotechnol 32(7) , 656-62 (Jul 2014)
Cultivated citrus are selections from, or hybrids of, wild progenitor species whose identities and contributions to citrus domestication remain controversial. Here we sequence and compare citrus genomes-a high-quality reference haploid clementine genome and mandarin, pummelo, sweet-orange and sour-orange genomes-and show that cultivated types derive from two progenitor species. Although cultivated pummelos represent selections from one progenitor species, Citrus maxima, cultivated mandarins are introgressions of C. maxima into the ancestral mandarin species Citrus reticulata. The most widely cultivated citrus, sweet orange, is the offspring of previously admixed individuals, but sour orange is an F1 hybrid of pure C. maxima and C. reticulata parents, thus implying that wild mandarins were part of the early breeding germplasm. A Chinese wild ‘mandarin’ diverges substantially from C. reticulata, thus suggesting the possibility of other unrecognized wild citrus species. Understanding citrus phylogeny through genome analysis clarifies taxonomic relationships and facilitates sequence-directed genetic improvement.