Cultivated papaya owes a lot to the ancient Maya, research suggests

A genetic study of papaya sex chromosomes reveals that the hermaphrodite version of the plant, which is of most use to growers, arose as a result of human selection, most likely by the ancient Maya some 4,000 years ago. The study homes in on a region of papaya’s male sex chromosome that, the study indicates, gave rise to the hermaphrodite plants.