In seed plants, as in placental animals, gamete formation and zygotic development take place within the parental tissues. To ensure timely onset and to coordinate the development of the new generation, communication between the parent plant with the filial tissues and its precursors is of utmost importance. During female gametogenesis the maternal tissues tightly regulate megagametophyte formation and the interplay between the sporophyte and the fertilization products, embryo and endosperm, has major implications in the formation of a viable seed. We review the current knowledge on these interactions and highlight the many questions that still remain unanswered, in particular the nature of the pathways involved in these signaling events.
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