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Plant Cell Physiol. 2014 Sep;55(9):1521-33. doi: 10.1093/pcp/pcu089. Epub 2014 Jun 24.

The functions of the endosperm during seed germination.

Author information

1
Department of Cell & Systems Biology, University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S3B2.
2
Department of Cell & Systems Biology, University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S3B2 The Centre for the Analysis of Genome Evolution and Function (CAGEF), University of Toronto, 25 Willcocks Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S3B2 King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia eiji.nambara@utoronto.ca.

Abstract

In angiosperms, a double fertilization event initiates the development of two distinct structures, the embryo and endosperm. The endosperm plays an important role in supporting embryonic growth by supplying nutrients, protecting the embryo and controlling embryo growth by acting as a mechanical barrier during seed development and germination. Its structure and function in the mature dry seed is divergent and specialized among different plant species. A subset of endospermic tissues are composed of living cells even after seed maturation, and play an active role in the regulation of seed germination. Transcriptome analysis has provided new insights into the regulatory functions of the endosperm during seed germination. It is well known that the embryo secretes signals to the endosperm to induce the degradation of the seed reserve and to promote endosperm weakening during germination. Recent advances in seed biology have shown that the endosperm is capable of sensing environmental signals, and can produce and secrete signals to regulate the growth of the embryo. Thus, germination is a systemic response that involves bidirectional interactions between the embryo and endosperm.

KEYWORDS:

Abscisic acid; Embryo; Endosperm; Germination; Gibberellin; Seed

PMID:
24964910
DOI:
10.1093/pcp/pcu089
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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