Citrus is the main fruit tree crop in the world and therefore has a tremendous economical, social and cultural impact in our society. In recent years, our knowledge on plant reproductive biology has increased considerably mostly because of the work developed in model plants. However, the information generated in these species cannot always be applied to citrus, predominantly because citrus is a perennial tree crop that exhibits a very peculiar and unusual reproductive biology. Regulation of fruit growth and development in citrus is an intricate phenomenon depending upon many internal and external factors that may operate both sequentially and simultaneously. The elements and mechanisms whereby endogenous and environmental stimuli affect fruit growth are being interpreted and this knowledge may help to provide tools that allow optimizing production and fruit with enhanced nutritional value, the ultimate goal of the Citrus Industry. This article will review the progress that has taken place in the physiology of citrus fruiting during recent years and present the current status of major research topics in this area.
abiotic stresses; abscission; color break; flowering; fruit set; ripening