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Survey of Phenolic Compounds Produced in Citrus
Flavonoid Composition of Citrus

Rough Lemon

All rough lemon cultivars tested contained 7–rutinosyl flavanones (usually as a mixture of hesperidin and eriocitrin). Rough lemon (Citrus jambhiri) is a citron or lemon × mandarin cross (Swingle and Reece 1967, Barrett and Rhodes 1976). All three possible parents contain the 7–rutinosyl glycoside flavanone pattern. The rough lemon cultivars examined in this survey have flavanone patterns similar to those of lime or lemon. They contain mostly hesperidin with small amounts of eriocitrin. There have only been a few flavanone studies on rough lemon cultivars. (Horowitz and Gentili 1977, Kumamoto et al. 1986). Hesperidin has been shown to be present in rough lemon (Horowitz and Gentili 1977), and neohesperidin has been reported to be a component of rough lemon (Albach and Redman 1969). However, no neohesperidosyl glycosides are detectable in the rough lemon cultivars in our survey, except in 'Khoubs-el-Arsa', a cultivar of unknown origin (Hodgson 1967). The leaf of 'Khoubs-el-Arsa' rough lemon contains predominantly the 7–rutinosyl glycoside flavanone hesperidin and a small amount of neoeriocitrin. This indicates that 'Khoubs-el-Arsa' is a rough lemon relative or hybrid.

Rough lemon contains the rutinosyl flavones rutin, isorhoifolin, and diosmin. No rhoifolin is detectable. Leaf tissue seems to contain the largest amounts of flavones. Rough lemon contains relatively high concentrations of isorhoifolin, unlike other rutinosyl–glycoside-containing species of this survey (lime, lemon, and especially its parental species citron, which do not contain isorhoifolin in any cultivar examined).


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United States Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research Service

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Original posting: April 1, 1999.