A new indigenous citrus variety identified from Bhutan

picture1As a part of the study of Phylogenetic Relationships of Citrus and its relatives (focusing on Indigenous Citrus of Bhutan), Tshering Penjor, Principal Research Officer at the ARDC Wengkhar, DoA, MoAF in collaboration with researchers Takashi Mimura, Nobuhiro Kotoda, Ryoji Matsumoto, Atsushi J Nagano, Mie N honjo, Hiroshi Kudoh, Masashi Yamamoto and Yukio Nagano from the University of Kagoshima and University of Saga, Japan identified a new type of wild citrus.

Locally known as “Kagati” morphologically similar to Mexican lime is found to be genetically different from Mexican lime according to the study. The new identification now called “Himalayan Lime” is found to be a hybrid of Citron and Mandarin where as Mexican lime is a hybrid of Citron and Papeda.

picture2The citrus variety “Himalayan lime” can be a new accession in Bhutans Indigenous Citrus Germpalsm and an alternative to Mexican Lime.  It is found to be grown in the wild forests of Bhutan ranging from 300 to 1500 m asl (meter above sea level). Some Southern Bhutanese farmers grows these trees in their backyard orchards either through seedlings or seeds, which were brought from the nearby forest. The fresh fruits were mostly consumed as salad and sometimes fermented into pickle and used in treating certain stomach disorders like diarrhea and stomach ache. Himalyan lime has potentials for commercialization as lime fruits or processed as Himalayan Lime Juice.

The complete research paper describing Himalayan lime is published in Breeding Science Preview doi:10.1270/jsbbs.16059 available at www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jsbbs/advpub/0/advpub_16059/_pdf

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A seminar on this new variety will be organized at Wengkhar and DoA in collaboration with the National Citrus Program at a later date.

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