Citrus growers excited about new seedless mandarin

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Associated Press

Posted on February 4, 2011 at 3:00 AM

Updated Friday, Feb 4 at 3:02 AM

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (AP) — A new variety of mandarin orange has growers hopeful they can produce more seedless fruit that's appealing to consumers while reducing their expenses.

It took researchers at the University of California, Riverside more than a decade to develop the Tango mandarin. The variety went to growers a couple years ago and the first crop will be picked this month.

The Tango is seedless because it comes from a sterile tree. With other mandarin varieties, seeds are produced when bees pollinate the trees' flowers. That doesn't happen with the Tango.

But, Tango trees can still produce fruit because they are self-pollinating.

Growers say the Tango will save them money because they no longer have to spread nets over mandarin trees to ward off bees.

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