Embryo and endosperm, partners in seed development

Curr Opin Plant Biol. 2014 Feb;17:64-9. doi: 10.1016/j.pbi.2013.11.008. Epub 2013 Dec 3.


Angiosperm seeds are the major source of human calories, generating a pressing need to understand the underlying processes governing seed growth and development. They are composed of the two fertilization products, embryo and endosperm surrounded by the maternally derived seed coat. The successful interaction of all three seed components is a requirement for seeds to complete their development and to produce viable embryos that are competent to establish a new sporophytic generation. Here, we review recent reports investigating signal exchange between embryo and endosperm, focusing in particular on the transport of metabolites and small RNAs between both fertilization products.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endosperm / embryology
  • Endosperm / genetics
  • Endosperm / metabolism*
  • Fertilization
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant
  • Magnoliopsida / embryology
  • Magnoliopsida / genetics
  • Magnoliopsida / metabolism*
  • Models, Biological
  • Plant Proteins / genetics
  • Plant Proteins / metabolism*
  • RNA Transport
  • RNA, Plant / genetics
  • RNA, Plant / metabolism
  • Seeds / embryology
  • Seeds / genetics
  • Seeds / metabolism*


  • Plant Proteins
  • RNA, Plant