Signalling events regulating seed coat development

Biochem Soc Trans. 2014 Apr;42(2):358-63. doi: 10.1042/BST20130221.


The evolution of seeds was a major reason for the rise of angiosperms to ecological dominance. Seeds of angiosperms are composed of three main structures: the embryo, which will give rise to the next generation; the endosperm, a nurturing tissue whose main function is to deliver nutrients from the mother plant to the embryo; and the seed coat (or testa), a tissue that is derived from the maternal integuments and which provides support and protection to the growing embryo. All three seed components need to exchange signals to ensure co-ordinated growth and development. The present review discusses the structure of the seed coat, its interaction with the endosperm, and bidirectional signalling events between endosperm and seed coat that co-ordinate growth of both tissues. Angiosperm seeds are not only of evolutionary significance, but also of major agronomic importance, demanding a thorough understanding of the events governing seed growth and development.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Endosperm / genetics
  • Endosperm / growth & development
  • Endosperm / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant / physiology
  • Polycomb-Group Proteins / genetics
  • Polycomb-Group Proteins / metabolism
  • Seeds / genetics
  • Seeds / growth & development
  • Seeds / metabolism*


  • Polycomb-Group Proteins