Protoplasma

, Volume 247, Issue 3, pp 195–214

Family life at close quarters: communication and constraint in angiosperm seed development

Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s00709-010-0184-y

Cite this article as:
Ingram, G.C. Protoplasma (2010) 247: 195. doi:10.1007/s00709-010-0184-y

Abstract

The formation of viable angiosperm seeds involves the co-ordinated growth and development of three genetically distinct organisms, the maternally derived seed coat and the zygotic embryo and endosperm. The physical relationships of these tissues are initially established during the specification and differentiation of the female gametophyte within the tissues of the developing ovule. The molecular programmes implicated in both ovule and seed development involve elements of globally important pathways (such as auxin signalling), as well as ovule- and seed-specific pathways. Recurrent themes, such as the precisely controlled death of specific cell types and the regulation of cell–cell communication and nutrition by the selective establishment of symplastic and apoplastic barriers, appear to play key roles in both pre- and post-fertilization seed development. Much of post-fertilization seed growth occurs during a key developmental window shortly after fertilization and involves the dramatic expansion of the young endosperm, constrained by surrounding maternal tissues. The complex tissue-specific regulation of carbohydrate metabolism in specific seed compartments has been shown to provide a driving force for this early seed expansion. The embryo, which is arguably the most important component of the seed, appears to be only minimally involved in early seed development. Given the evolutionary and agronomic importance of angiosperm seeds, the complex combination of communication pathways which co-ordinate their growth and development remains remarkably poorly understood.

Keywords

Ovule Embryo Endosperm Testa Signalling Angiosperm seed development 

Abbreviations

AP2

APETALA2

ALE1

ABNORMAL LEAF SHAPE1

ALE2

ABNORMAL LEAF SHAPE2

ACR4

ARABIDOPSIS CRINKLY4

AGP

Arabinogalactan protein

AGO9

ARGONAUTE 9

ATO

ATROPOS

ARF2

AUXIN RESPONSE FACTOR2

CLO

CLOTHO

C/M

Chalazal/micropylar

CDKA;1

CYCLIN-DEPENDENT KINASE A;1

DEK

DEFECTIVE KERNEL

EMB

EMBRYO SPECIFIC

ESR

Embryo surrounding region

FBL17

F-BOX-LIKE PROTEIN 17

FM

Functional megaspore

IKU1

HAIKU1

IKU2

HAIKU2

IAA

Indole-3-acetic acid

IPT

ISOPRENYL TRANSFERASE

KPR2

KIP RELATED PROTEIN2

LIS

LACHENSIS

LRR-RLK

Leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinase

MMC

Megaspore mother cell

MINI3

MINISEED3

MSP1

MULTIPLE SPOROCYTE1

RNA

Ribonucleic acid

SHB1

SHORT HYPOCOTYL UNDER BLUE1

siRNAs

Small interfering RNAs

SPL

SPOROCYTELESS

SAP

STERILE APETALA

TTG2

TRANSPARENT TESTA GLABRA2

ZOU

ZHOUPI

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Molecular Plant SciencesUniversity of EdinburghEdinburghUK

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