The endosperm, the tissue surrounding the plant embryo in the seed, has long been perceived as a nourishing tissue that is abandoned once the transition to the seedling is complete. A team, led by Luis Lopez-Molina, has now shown that the endosperm also plays a key role in the proper development of the seedling after germination. It acts notably on the formation of the cuticle, a protective layer essential for the survival of plants. Biologists found that these new functions attributed to the endosperm are independent of its capacity to provide nutrients and are mediated by the production of specific molecules.
The article was published in the journal Developmental Cell on October 26th, 2021.
Check out the UNIGE press release.