Flowering plants (angiosperms) perform a unique double fertilization in which two sperm cells fuse with two female gamete cells in the embryo sac to develop a seed. Furthermore, during land plant evolution, the mode of sexual reproduction has been modified dramatically from motile sperm in the early-diverging land plants, such as mosses and ferns as well as some gymnosperms (Ginkgo and cycads) to nonmotile sperm that are delivered to female gametes by the pollen tube in flowering plants. Recent studies have revealed the cellular dynamics and molecular mechanisms for the complex series of double fertilization processes and elucidated differences and similarities between animals and plants. Here, together with a brief comparison with animals, we review the current understanding of flowering plant zygote dynamics, covering from gamete nuclear migration, karyogamy, and polyspermy block, to zygotic genome activation as well as asymmetrical division of the zygote. Further analyses of the detailed molecular and cellular mechanisms of flowering plant fertilization should shed light on the evolution of the unique sexual reproduction of flowering plants.

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Published in Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part B.

© 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC

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This is an Accepted Manuscript version of the following article, accepted for publication in Journal of Experimental Zoology. Part B. Shin, J. M., Yuan, L., Ohme‐Takagi, M., & Kawashima, T. (2020). Cellular dynamics of double fertilization and early embryogenesis in flowering plants. Journal of Experimental Zoology Part B, jez.b.22981. https://doi.org/10.1002/jez.b.22981

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This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (IOS-1928836to TKand 1355438 to LY), National Institute of Food and Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture (Hatch-1014280to TK), a start-up fund from the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences and the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Kentucky(TK),the Harold R. Burton Endowed Professorship (LY), and the Program for Advancing Strategic International Networksto Accelerate the Circulation of Talented Researchers from Japan Society for the Promotion of Science(JMS and MOT).