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June 29, 2006

New Seedless Mandarin Cultivar

The citrus breeding program Univeristy of California in Riverside has released a new seedless mandarin, 'Tango':

Ready to Taste Tangos (The Press-Enterprise)

"Breeding" here is used in the somewhat less strict sense, because there's no plant sex going on...'Tango' is the product of budwood irradiation, which is a fairly common way to induce genetic variation in citrus. (It's not clear to me what the starting genotype was...maybe 'W. Murcott').

Apparently the big improvement here is that the mandarin is truly seedless, not just self-infertile, and remains seedless even surrounded by lots of viable pollen sources.

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