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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Riverside, California » National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Citrus » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #370792

Research Project: Conservation, Management and Distribution of Citrus and Date Genetic Resources and Associated Information

Location: National Clonal Germplasm Repository for Citrus

Title: Analysis of ‘Marrakesh limetta’ (Citrus x limon var. limetta (Risso) Ollitrault, Curk & R.Krueger) horticultural history and relationships with limes and lemons

item RIVERA, DIEGO - Universidad De Murcia
item BERMUDEZ, ANTONIO - Colegio Espanol De Rabat
item OBON, CONCHITA - Miguel Hernandez University
item ALCARAZ, FRANCISCO - Universidad De Murcia
item RIOS, SEGUNDO - Universidad De Alicante
item SANCHEZ-BALIBERA, J - Association Of Southeast Naturalists
item Krueger, Robert

Submitted to: Scientia Horticulturae
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/19/2021
Publication Date: 11/6/2021
Citation: Rivera, D., Bermudez, A., Obon, C., Alcaraz, F., Rios, S., Sanchez-Balibera, J., Krueger, R. 2021. Analysis of ‘Marrakesh limetta’ (Citrus x limon var. limetta (Risso) Ollitrault, Curk & R.Krueger) horticultural history and relationships with limes and lemons. Scientia Horticulturae. 293. Article 110688.

Interpretive Summary: Our work has three main objectives: to characterize acid limetta on the basis of Spanish and Moroccan populations, as well as its cultural relevance throughout history, especially in painting, gastronomy, agriculture and gardening, to determine their relationships with limes and lemons and to evaluate the availability and state of conservation of that legacy. We analyze and illustrate the morphology of the plant, flowers and fruits of sour limetta and their differences with other related citrus species and cultivars: sweet limetta, lemon, common lime, Persian lime, bergamot, mellarosa, Meyer lemon, rough lemon, Pursha Romana lime, Palestine sweet lime, Pomum Adami and Rangpur lime. The above species and cultivars were selected on the base of their known ancestry and pomological characters. The distinctive characters are useful for the identification of sour limetta in the field but also for identifyin images of this plant in paintings. We analyzed the ancestry of the different taxa involved and compared the classification based on phenotypes with the classification based on the proportion of ancestors’ genomes in each individual taxa.

Technical Abstract: Citrus (Rutaceae) species have a relevant role in the culture of the Mediterranean countries, not only for their gastronomic or medicinal value, but especially for their ornamental and symbolic importance. The interest on Citrus diversity led to collect and cultivate numerous cultivars around the Mediterranean Sea, at least since the Roman period. Their image is documented in mosaics, paintings, sculptures and coins since the first millennium BC. Among these, sour limettas Citrus limetta Risso stand for their history and conservation status. Presently sour limetta is cultivated in Morocco, especially in Marrakesh, and in the Valle de Ricote (Murcia, Spain).