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Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2001 Feb;4(1):21-7.

Genomic imprinting and seed development: endosperm formation with and without sex.

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Institute of Plant Biology, University of Zürich, Zollikerstrasse 107, CH-8008, Zürich, Switzerland.


During seed development, coordinated developmental programs lead to the formation of the embryo, endosperm and seed coat. The maternal effects of the genes affected in the fertilisation-independent seed class of mutants play an important role in seed development. The plant Polycomb proteins MEDEA and FERTILIZATION-INDEPENDENT ENDOSPERM physically interact and form a complex, in a manner similar to that of their counterparts in animals. Maternal-effect phenotypes can result from regulation by genomic imprinting, a phenomenon of critical importance for both sexual and apomictic seed development.

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