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Plant Cell. 2005 Jan;17(1):52-60. Epub 2004 Dec 14.

Maternal control of integument cell elongation and zygotic control of endosperm growth are coordinated to determine seed size in Arabidopsis.

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European Molecular Biology Organization, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Ecole Normale Supérieure-Lyon, Université Lyon I, Institut Fédératif de Recherche 128 BioSciences, Gerland, Lyon, France.


We use Arabidopsis thaliana as a model to investigate coordination of cell proliferation and cell elongation in the three components that develop side by side in the seed. Two of these, the embryo and its nurturing annex, the endosperm, are placed under zygotic control and develop within the seed integument placed under maternal control. We show that integument cell proliferation and endosperm growth are largely independent from each other. By contrast, prevention of cell elongation in the integument by the mutation transparent testa glabra2 (ttg2) restricts endosperm and seed growth. Conversely, endosperm growth controlled by the HAIKU (IKU) genetic pathway modulates integument cell elongation. Combinations of TTG2 defective seed integument with reduction of endosperm size by iku mutations identify integument cell elongation and endosperm growth as the primary regulators of seed size. Our results strongly suggest that a cross talk between maternal and zygotic controls represents the primary regulator of the coordinated control of seed size in Arabidopsis.

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