In sexually reproducing species, fertilization brings together in the zygote the genomes of the female and male gametes. In several animal species, female gametes are able to initiate embryogenesis in the absence of fertilization, a process referred to as parthenogenesis. Parthenogenesis has been engineered in mice by tampering with expression of loci under epigenetic controls . In plants, embryo development in the absence of fertilization has been reported in cases in which meiosis is bypassed leading to apomictic development, and parthenogenetic development from a reduced egg cell has been only reported in rare accidental cases . We report that single mutations in the gene MULTICOPY SUPPRESSOR OF IRA 1 (MSI1) are able to initiate parthenogenetic development of the embryo in Arabidopsis thaliana from eggs cells produced by meiosis. The WD40 repeat protein MSI1 is part of the evolutionarily conserved Polycomb group (PcG) chromatin-remodeling complexes  and is homologous to the Retinoblastoma binding proteins P55 in Drosophila and RbAp48 in mammals . Nonviable haploid parthenogenetic msi1 embryos express molecular markers and polarity similar to diploid wild-type (wt) embryos produced by fertilization, indicating a maternal contribution to early patterning of the Arabidopsis embryo.