The common assumption that the seed failure in interploidy crosses of flowering plants is due to parental genomic imprinting is based on vague interpretations and needs reevaluation since the general question is involved, how differentiation is timed so that cell progenies, while specializing, pass through proper numbers of amplification divisions before proliferation ceases. As recently confirmed, endosperm differentiation is accelerated or de-accelerated, depending upon whether polyploid females are crossed with diploid males, or vice-versa. Unlike the zygote, the first cell of the endosperm is determined to produce a tissue that successively induces growth of maternal tissues, stimulates and nourishes the embryo, and finally ceases cell cycling. Altered timing of endosperm differentiation, thus, perturbs seed development. During fertilization, only the female genomes contribute cytoplasmic equivalents to endosperm development so that in interploidy crosses, the initial amount of cytoplasm per chromosome set is altered, and due to semi-autonomy of cytoplasmic growth, altered numbers of division cycles are needed to provide the amount of cytoplasmic organelles required for differentiation. Cytoplasmic semi-autonomy and dependence of differentiation on an increase in cytoplasm has been shown in other tissues of plants and animals, thus, revealing a common mechanism for intracellular timing of differentiation. As demonstrated, imprinted genes can alter the extent of cell proliferation by interfering with this mechanism. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All righs reserved.
Von Wangenheim, K. H., & Peterson, H. P. (2004, June 15). Aberrant endosperm development in interploidy crosses reveals a timer of differentiation. Developmental Biology. Academic Press Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2004.03.014