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Endosperm: food for humankind and fodder for scientific discoveries

Authors

  • Jing Li,

    1. Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, 1 Research Link, National University of Singapore, 117604 Singapore
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  • Frédéric Berger

    1. Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, 1 Research Link, National University of Singapore, 117604 Singapore
    2. Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore
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Author for correspondence:
Frédéric Berger
Tel: +65 6872 7000
Email: fred@tll.org.sg

Abstract

Contents

 Summary290
I.Introduction290
II.Development of the endosperm291
III.Patterning the endosperm294
IV.Control of endosperm size and its influence on seed size295
V.Hormonal physiology of the A. thaliana endosperm298
VI.Epigenetic regulation of the endosperm298
VII.Conclusions301
 Acknowledgements301
 References301

Summary

The endosperm is an essential constituent of seeds in flowering plants. It originates from a fertilization event parallel to the fertilization that gives rise to the embryo. The endosperm nurtures embryo development and, in some species including cereals, stores the seed reserves and represents a major source of food for humankind. Endosperm biology is characterized by specific features, including idiosyncratic cellular controls of cell division and epigenetic controls associated with parental genomic imprinting. This review attempts a comprehensive summary of our current knowledge of endosperm development and highlights recent advances in this field.

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