The development of a seed starts with a double fertilization event where two paternal sperm cells fertilize two maternal gametes: egg cell and central cell. Consequently, two fertilization products are formed: the diploid embryo, which forms the next generation, and the triploid endosperm, which serves as a nourishing tissue. Surrounding the two fertilization products is the seed coat, a purely maternal tissue derived from the ovule integuments. Thus, the development of a seed coincides with the formation of three genetically distinct structures that have to coordinate their development in order to ensure the successful transmission of the parental genomes. Despite the biological and socio-economical significance of seeds, not much is known about the molecular mechanisms that become active after fertilization and that drive the development of the three seed structures. I will be discussing our most recent work on trying to elucidate those signalling mechanisms, with a focus on the formation of the endosperm and of the seed coat. Furthermore, I will discuss how the endosperm can be a site for the establishment of hybridization barriers in plants, by restricting the development of hybrid embryos.
Recent publications :
D.D. Figueiredo, C. Köhler. “Auxin: a molecular trigger of seed development”. 2018 Genes & Dev, in press.
D. D. Figueiredo*, R. A. Batista*, C. Köhler. “Auxin regulates endosperm cellularization in Arabidopsis”. 2017 bioRxiv 239301. [Pre-print]
D.D. Figueiredo, R.A. Batista, P. Roszak, L. Hennig, C. Köhler, "Auxin production in the endosperm drives seed coat development in Arabidopsis". 2016 eLife 5:e20542. [OA]
M. Derkacheva, S. Liu, D.D. Figueiredo, M. Gentry, I. Mozgova, P. Nanni, M. Tang, M. Mannervik, C. Köhler, L. Hennig, “H2A deubiquitinases UBP12/13 are part of the Arabidopsis Polycomb Group protein system”. 2016 Nat Plants 2:16126.
W. Mahrez, J. Shin, R. Muñoz-Viana, D.D. Figueiredo, M.S. Trejo-Arellano, V. Exner, A. Siretskiy, W. Gruissem, C. Köhler, L. Hennig, “BBR2a Affects Flowering Time via FLC splicing”. 2016 PLoS Genet 12(4):e1005924. [OA]
D.D. Figueiredo, C. Köhler, "Bridging the gap: communication between maternal sporophyte, gametophyte and fertilization products". 2016 Curr Opin Plant Biol 29:16-20.
D.D. Figueiredo, R.A. Batista, P. Roszak, C. Köhler, "Auxin production couples endosperm development to fertilization". 2015 Nat Plants 1:15184.