Saturday, February 13, 2021

When Evolution hands you Citrus


    No other fruits other than the apple has pervaded our taste buds so distinctly than citrus. Whether lemon, lime, grapefruit, mandarin, orange or many others, the tart yet sweet flavor has no comparison to any other food. In a 2018 BBC article, the origins of citrus have been traced back parts of Southeastern Asia. The specific regions named in a Nature Article correlate to modern day Yunan province of China, Assam province in India, in the shadow of the Himalayas and Myanmar. Then from there it had spread to the Australian continent, probably by oceanic currents. Some species of citrus drifted over to other islands, becoming genetically isolated from mainland citrus and growing into new species.

    From that point on crossbreeding or interbreeding, whether by accident or intentionally by humans, diversified the citrus profile. Adding flavors, new tolerances for differing climates, or even mixing up for a change. Citrus has com a long way for the monsoon sodden Southeast Asia to becoming a fixture in supermarkets and breakfasts. 

This would be intriging to see what the future for citrus would turn out. Would they remove that orange residual on fingers when peeling them. How about a sourer flavor that would rival artificial candies? The qualities goes on and on that could be changed for citrus. 


  1. I never knew that the origins of citrus came from Southeastern Asia! Its really cool to see how far citrus has come to now being seen in our supermarkets and being used in our breakfasts. I personally do not really like citrus things, but I am also intrigued about what the future holds for citrus and what humanity plans to do with it.

  2. All these are very interesting facts about citrus. I never knew they could change their genetic makeup to create new species such as the grapefruit. I think it will be very fascinating to see what other fruits will exist as time goes on.

  3. I also did not realize that citrus came from SOutheastern Asia. I would has assumed it came from, South America. I think of warm climates when it comes to citrus, probably because of oranges coming from Florida. I hope to see a cross between a lime and lemon.