Editors' ChoicePlant biology

Paternal Influences on Zygote Development

Science Signaling  17 Mar 2009:
Vol. 2, Issue 62, pp. ec100
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.262ec100

The signals that get embryonic development going in plants reveal a finely timed interaction between paternal and maternal gametes. Bayer et al. (see the Perspective by Grossniklaus) have discovered the messenger RNA (mRNA) encoding a kinase SSP in the paternal pollen grains. After fertilization and fusion of male and female gametes, the mRNA is translated into the SSP protein. SSP then triggers activity of YODA, a kinase supplied from the maternal gamete. YODA in turn regulates early phases of zygotic development. In this way, embryonic development begins only after fusion of male and female gametes.

M. Bayer, T. Nawy, C. Giglione, M. Galli, T. Meinnel, W. Lukowitz, Paternal control of embryonic patterning in Arabidopsis thaliana. Science 323, 1485–1488 (2009). [Abstract] [Full Text]

U. Grossniklaus, Paternal patterning cue. Science 323, 1439–1440 (2009). [Summary] [Full Text]

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