Bottle gourd, one of the most cross-culturally ubiquitous crops, had a pan-tropical distribution by the beginning of the Holocene. Our findings overturn a major component of the current model for bottle gourd’s early global dispersal, specifically regarding how it entered the Americas. Our findings also indicate that the domestication process itself took place in a diffuse pattern throughout the bottle gourd’s New World range, explaining early and nearly contemporaneous use of bottle gourds in North, Central, and South America. Bottle gourd’s weedy growth habit and the diffuse domestication pattern also suggest that early cultivation were probably not restricted to known centers of domestication. It is likely, however, that domesticated phenotypes emerged in these centers alongside food crops.
Via Dorian Q Fuller