Changes in anthocyanin production during domestication of Citrus

Familiar citrus fruits such as sweet orange, lemon, lime and grapefruit are hybrids of three species: Citrus reticulate (mandarin), C. medica (citron), and C. maxima (pummelo). Cultivated varieties are generally vegetatively propagated, with diversity arising from spontaneous or induced somatic mutations. Butelli et al. previously showed that anthocyanin accumulation in sweet orange is correlated with expression of the Ruby gene, which encodes a MYB transcription factor. In this study, they extend their characterization of Ruby across Citrus species and hybrids. Their study indicates that the as a result of mutations in the Ruby gene, anthocyanin production s has been lost independently several times in Citrus and its close relatives. Phylogenetic analysis of the Ruby gene also helps to clarify the relationships between citrus varieties. Plant Physiol. 10.​1104/​pp.​16.​01701