Original Article

Plant Reproduction

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 267-285

First online:

De novo zygotic transcription in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) includes genes encoding small putative secreted peptides and a protein involved in proteasomal degradation

  • Dunja Leljak-LevanićAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular Biology, Faculty of Science and Mathematics, University of Zagreb
  • , Martina JuranićAffiliated withDepartment of Molecular Biology, Faculty of Science and Mathematics, University of Zagreb
  • , Stefanie SprunckAffiliated withCell Biology and Plant Biochemistry, Biochemie-Zentrum Regensburg, University of Regensburg Email author 

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Wheat is one of the world’s most important crops, and increasing grain yield is a major challenge for the future. Still, our knowledge about the molecular machineries responsible for early post-fertilization events such as zygotic reprogramming, the initial cell-specification events during embryogenesis, and the intercellular communication between the early embryo and the developing endosperm is very limited. Here, we describe the identification of de novo transcribed genes in the wheat zygote. We used wheat ovaries of defined post-fertilization stages to isolate zygotes and early embryos, and identified genes that are specifically induced in these particular stages. Importantly, we observed that some of the zygotic-induced genes encode proteins with similarity to secreted signaling peptides such as TAPETUM DETERMINANT 1 and EGG APPARATUS 1, and to MATH-BTB proteins which are known substrate-binding adaptors for the Cullin3-based ubiquitin E3 ligase. This suggests that both cell–cell signaling and targeted proteasomal degradation may be important molecular events during zygote formation and the progression of early embryogenesis.


Wheat Zygote Proembryo Cell–cell communication Cell specification Polarity EA1 TPD1 MATH-BTB