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The secret love life of plants

t began to develop endosperm. The researchers deduced that shortly after the egg cell was fertilised, a positive signal was sent out to its environment, which appears to be necessary for normal growth of an endosperm. Because the double fertilisation process can be genetically dissected, the existence of this mutant offers new possibilities to learn about the development of endosperm and the embryo in seeds. In the next few months, the researchers hope above all to find out how exactly the signal functions and what chemical reactions are behind it.

"Explaining the mechanism behind double fertilisation in flowering plants and early seed development is particularly interesting in the context of plant breeding," says Arp Schnittger, "because reproduction without fertilisation would be advantageous for many different kinds of breeding."


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Contact: Dr. Arp Schnittger
schnitt@mpiz-koeln.mpg.de
49-221-506-2627
Max-Planck-Gesellschaft
8-Dec-2005


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