Cellular dynamics of coenocytic endosperm development in Arabidopsis thaliana

Mohammad Foteh Ali, Ji Min Shin, Umma Fatema, Daisuke Kurihara, Frédéric Berger, Ling Yuan, Tomokazu Kawashima

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


After double fertilization, the endosperm in the seeds of many flowering plants undergoes repeated mitotic nuclear divisions without cytokinesis, resulting in a large coenocytic endosperm that then cellularizes. Growth during the coenocytic phase is strongly associated with the final seed size; however, a detailed description of the cellular dynamics controlling the unique coenocytic development in flowering plants has remained elusive. By integrating confocal microscopy live-cell imaging and genetics, we have characterized the entire development of the coenocytic endosperm of Arabidopsis thaliana including nuclear divisions, their timing intervals, nuclear movement and cytoskeleton dynamics. Around each nucleus, microtubules organize into aster-shaped structures that drive actin filament (F-actin) organization. Microtubules promote nuclear movement after division, while F-actin restricts it. F-actin is also involved in controlling the size of both the coenocytic endosperm and the mature seed. The characterization of cytoskeleton dynamics in real time throughout the entire coenocyte endosperm period provides foundational knowledge of plant coenocytic development, insights into the coordination of F-actin and microtubules in nuclear dynamics, and new opportunities to increase seed size and our food security.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)330-342
Number of pages13
JournalNature Plants
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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