There is a great story behind every Citrus because they have been witnesses the life on Earth with some millions of years before humans. Yes, there are fruits that have a history of 8 million years, living on the planet Earth during the Miocene era.
This is confirmed by a Spanish study which was published in the scientific journals Molecular Biology And Evolution and Nature Biotechnology.
The genome of 30 species was analyzed
The scientists managed to reconstruct the genetical history of the Citrus Fruits, which account for a complex evolutionary process.
“The sweet orange is the daughter of a pummelo (the grapefruit’s mother) and a wild tangerine,” says biologist Manuel Telon. This “marriage” happened in Western China about three thousand years ago.
In that crossing, mandarin was the father and was characterized by its acidity and being full of seeds, which made it inedible. Its pollen traveled through the wind to the flowers of the mother, a pummelo, with sweet characteristics.
The fruit of both was the first orange that, according to Telon, was detected by a Chinese farmer who perpetuated his crop by grafting. It was in this way that the different citrus fruits began to conquer the world.
Citrus fruits have a history of 8 million years, dating back to the Miocene era
The scientists were able to depict that the common ancestor of all the citrus fruits belongs to ancient China but that tree also has its ancestors. Apparently, citrus fruits appeared 8 million years ago in the Himalaya from were they’ve migrated in different forms all over the planet due to a brief climate change phenomenon.
Even more, the irrefutable proof of these findings is a fossilized citrus tree leaf which has been found in China and which triggered a series of studies, worldwide.
By now, there is this Spanish study that depicts a common Miocene ancestor for all citrus fruits of our present days and another study conducted by the researchers from UC Berkeley, in the USA.
In conclusion, citrus fruits lived with 8 million years ago, way before humans, dating back to the Miocene Era.
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