Central cell-derived peptides regulate early embryo patterning in flowering plants

Liliana M. Costa, Eleanor Marshall, Mesfin Tesfaye, Kevin A.T. Silverstein, Masashi Mori, Yoshitaka Umetsu, Sophie L. Otterbach, Ranjith Papareddy, Hugh G. Dickinson, Kim Boutiller, Kathryn A. VandenBosch, Shinya Ohki, José F. Gutierrez-Marcos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


Plant embryogenesis initiates with the establishment of an apical-basal axis; however, the molecular mechanisms accompanying this early event remain unclear. Here, we show that a small cysteine-rich peptide family is required for formation of the zygotic basal cell lineage and proembryo patterning in Arabidopsis. EMBRYO SURROUNDING FACTOR 1 (ESF1) peptides accumulate before fertilization in central cell gametes and thereafter in embryo-surrounding endosperm cells. Biochemical and structural analyses revealed cleavage of ESF1 propeptides to form biologically active mature peptides. Further, these peptides act in a non - cell-autonomous manner and synergistically with the receptor-like kinase SHORT SUSPENSOR to promote suspensor elongation through the YODA mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway. Our findings demonstrate that the second female gamete and its sexually derived endosperm regulate early embryonic patterning in flowering plants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-172
Number of pages5
Issue number6180
StatePublished - 2014


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