Both parental genomes are expressed during embryogenesis, although the time of activation of the paternally inherited genes varies between organisms. Results reported by Vielle-Calzada et al. have suggested that delayed activation of the paternal genome seems to be the rule in plant development. We find, however, that during early embryogenesis in Arabidopsis, paternal genes are expressed and are sufficient for normal development. Our findings indicate that there is no overall maternal control of early embryogenesis, and that the contribution of the parental alleles needs to be assessed for each gene individually.