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Science 323 (5920): 1485-1488

Copyright © 2009 by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

Paternal Control of Embryonic Patterning in Arabidopsis thaliana

Martin Bayer,1* Tal Nawy,1{dagger} Carmela Giglione,2 Mary Galli,1{ddagger} Thierry Meinnel,2 Wolfgang Lukowitz1,3§

Abstract: The YODA (YDA) mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway promotes elongation of the Arabidopsis zygote and development of its basal daughter cell into the extra-embryonic suspensor. Here, we show that the interleukin-1 receptor–associated kinase (IRAK)/Pelle-like kinase gene SHORT SUSPENSOR (SSP) regulates this pathway through a previously unknown parent-of-origin effect. SSP transcripts are produced in mature pollen but do not appear to be translated. Instead, they are delivered via the sperm cells to the zygote and the endosperm, where SSP protein transiently accumulates. Ectopic expression of SSP protein in the leaf epidermis is sufficient to activate YDA-dependent signaling. We propose that SSP protein produced from paternal transcripts upon fertilization triggers zygotic YDA activity, providing an essential temporal cue for the regulation of the asymmetric first division.

1 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724, USA.
2 Institut des Sciences du Végétal, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, cedex, France.
3 Department of Plant Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.

* Present address: Institute of Plant Biology, University of Zürich, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland.

{dagger} Present address: Biology Department, New York University, NY 10003, USA.

{ddagger} Present address: The Salk Institute, San Diego, CA 92186, USA.

§ To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: lukowitz{at}

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