Arabidopsis LEAFY COTYLEDON1 is sufficient to induce embryo development in vegetative cells

Tamar Lotan, Masa Aki Ohto, Kelly Matsudaira Yee, Marilyn A.L. West, Russell Lo, Raymond W. Kwong, Kazutoshi Yamagishi, Robert L. Fischer, Robert B. Goldberg, John J. Harada

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Arabidopsis LEAFY COTYLEDON1 (LEC1) gene is required for the specification of cotyledon identity and the completion of embryo maturation. We isolated the LEC1 gene and showed that it functions at an early developmental stage to maintain embryonic cell fate. The LEC1 gene encodes a transcription factor homolog, the CCAAT box-binding facto HAP3 subunit. LEC1 RNA accumulates only during seed development in embryo cell types and in endosperm tissue. Ectopic postembryonic expression of the LEC1 gene in vegetative cells induces the expression of embryo-specific genes and initiates formation of embryo-like structures. Our results suggest that LEC1 is an important regulator of embryo development that activates the transcription of genes required for both embryo morphogenesis and cellular differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1195-1205
Number of pages11
Issue number7
StatePublished - 26 Jun 1998
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Jay Danao, Minsung Kim, and Sara Wortley for their help with experiments, Bart Janssen for vectors, K.C. McFarland of the NSF-Plant Cell Biology Training Facility for help in generating figures, and Neelima Sinha for comments about the manuscript. T. L. was supported by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Human Frontiers Science Program, M. O. was supported by postdoctoral fellowships for research abroad from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science and from Kenzo Nakamura, National Institute of Basic Biology, and K. Y. was supported in part by a postdoctoral fellowship from the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science. This work was supported by a grant from the Department of Energy.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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