Developmental patterning of the sub-epidermal integument cell layer in Arabidopsis seeds

Development. 2017 Apr 15;144(8):1490-1497. doi: 10.1242/dev.146274. Epub 2017 Mar 27.


Angiosperm seed development is a paradigm of tissue cross-talk. Proper seed formation requires spatial and temporal coordination of the fertilization products - embryo and endosperm - and the surrounding seed coat maternal tissue. In early Arabidopsis seed development, all seed integuments were thought to respond homogenously to endosperm growth. Here, we show that the sub-epidermal integument cell layer has a unique developmental program. We characterized the cell patterning of the sub-epidermal integument cell layer, which initiates a previously uncharacterized extra cell layer, and identified TRANSPARENT TESTA 16 and SEEDSTICK MADS box transcription factors as master regulators of its polar development and cell architecture. Our data indicate that the differentiation of the sub-epidermal integument cell layer is insensitive to endosperm growth alone and to the repressive mechanism established by FERTILIZATION INDEPENDENT ENDOSPERM and MULTICOPY SUPPRESSOR OF IRA1 Polycomb group proteins. This work demonstrates the different responses of epidermal and sub-epidermal integument cell layers to fertilization.

Keywords: Fertilization; Integuments; Seed coat; Seed development; Tissue cross-talk.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / cytology*
  • Arabidopsis / embryology*
  • Arabidopsis Proteins / metabolism
  • Body Patterning*
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Fertilization
  • Plant Development*
  • Plant Epidermis / cytology*
  • Plant Epidermis / embryology*
  • Seeds / embryology*


  • Arabidopsis Proteins