The embryo of the flowering plant Arabidopsis develops by a regular pattern of cell divisions and cell shape changes. Mutations in the KNOLLE (KN) gene affect the rate and plane of cell divisions as well as cell morphology, resulting in mutant seedlings with a disturbed radial organization of tissue layers. At the cellular level, mutant embryos are characterized by incomplete cross walls and enlarged cells with polyploid nuclei. The KN gene was isolated by positional cloning. The predicted KN protein has similarity to syntaxins, a protein family involved in vesicular trafficking. During embryogenesis, KN transcripts are detected in patches of single cells or small cell groups. Our results suggest a function for KN in cytokinesis.