Scientists from Texas A&M AgriLife Research and University of Illinois
Urbana-Champaign in the US have discovered a sex-determining gene that
dictates which of three sexes a papaya tree will become, before seed
germination. The team's main objective is to produce seeds that are
predetermined to grow into hermaphrodite trees as they are more efficient
for papaya production compared to male-female combinations.
This genetic discovery is good news for growers since it could help improve
papaya production in controlled environments such as greenhouses. The
researchers are now working on producing a clone of the candidate gene,
which would be followed by a trial testing to determine its effectiveness.