In citrus the juvenile phase can last 5–20 years depending on the variety, which is a serious constraint for molecular and conventional breeding. Castillo et al. screen juvenile and adult Citrus sinensis and C. jambhiri to identify differentially expressed transcription factors, and incorporate data from C. reticulat × C. sinensis and C. paradisi in order to select genes with phase-specific regulation common to all four species. Some of the identified genes are MADS-box genes, whereas the others show high partial sequence similarity restricted to specific domains but negligible outside those domains, suggesting that they might be novel genes that play specific roles during the juvenile-to-adult transition in citrus.
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