Cross talk between the sporophyte and the megagametophyte during ovule development
In seed plant ovules, the diploid maternal sporophytic generation embeds and sustains the haploid generation (the female gametophyte);
thus, two independent generations coexist in a single organ. Many independent studies on Arabidopsis ovule mutants suggest that embryo sac development requires highly synchronized morphogenesis of the maternal sporophyte surrounding
the gametophyte, since megagametogenesis is severely perturbed in most of the known sporophytic ovule development mutants.
Which are the messenger molecules involved in the haploid–diploid dialogue? And furthermore, is this one way communication
or is a feedback cross talk? In this review, we discuss genetic and molecular evidences supporting the presence of a cross
talk between the two generations, starting from the first studies regarding ovule development and ending to the recently sporophytic
identified genes whose expression is strictly controlled by the haploid gametophytic generation. We will mainly focus on Arabidopsis studies since it is the species more widely studied for this aspect. Furthermore, possible candidate molecules involved in
the diploid–haploid generations dialogue will be presented and discussed.