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Journal Article

Comparative Embryogenesis in Angiosperms: Activation and Patterning of Embryonic Cell Lineages


Jürgens,  G
Department Cell Biology, Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology, Max Planck Society;

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Dresselhaus, T., & Jürgens, G. (2021). Comparative Embryogenesis in Angiosperms: Activation and Patterning of Embryonic Cell Lineages. Annual Review of Plant Biology, 72, 641-676. doi:10.1146/annurev-arplant-082520-094112.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-51ED-0
Following fertilization in flowering plants (angiosperms), egg and sperm cells unite to form the zygote, which generates an entire new organism through a process called embryogenesis. In this review, we provide a comparative perspective on early zygotic embryogenesis in flowering plants by using the Poaceae maize and rice as monocot grass and crop models as well as Arabidopsis as a eudicot model of the Brassicaceae family. Beginning with the activation of the egg cell, we summarize and discuss the process of maternal-to-zygotic transition in plants, also taking recent work on parthenogenesis and haploid induction into consideration. Aspects like imprinting, which is mainly associated with endosperm development and somatic embryogenesis, are not considered. Controversial findings about the timing of zygotic genome activation as well as maternal versus paternal contribution to zygote and early embryo development are highlighted. The establishment of zygotic polarity, asymmetric division, and apical and basal cell lineages represents another chapter in which we also examine and compare the role of major signaling pathways, cell fate genes, and hormones in early embryogenesis. Except for the model Arabidopsis, little is known about embryopatterning and the establishment of the basic body plan in angiosperms. Using available in situ hybridization, RNA-sequencing, and marker data, we try to compare how and when stem cell niches are established. Finally, evolutionary aspects of plant embryo development are discussed.