J Integr Plant Biol. ›› 2022, Vol. 64 ›› Issue (8): 1469-1486.DOI: 10.1111/jipb.13314

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Ovule initiation: the essential step controlling offspring number in Arabidopsis

Shi‐Xia Yu1,2,3†, Yu‐Tong Jiang1† and Wen‐Hui Lin1,2*   

  1. 1 The Joint International Research Laboratory of Metabolic and Developmental Sciences, School of Life Sciences and Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
    2 Shanghai Collaborative Innovation Center of Agri‐Seeds/Joint Center for Single Cell Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
    3 School of Agriculture and Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China

    These authors contributed equally to this work.
    * Correspondence: Wen-Hui Lin (whlin@sjtu.edu.cn)
  • Received:2022-05-09 Accepted:2022-06-14 Online:2022-06-17 Published:2022-08-01


Seed is the offspring of angiosperms. Plants produce large numbers of seeds to ensure effective reproduction and survival in varying environments. Ovule is a fundamentally important organ and is the precursor of the seed. In Arabidopsis and other plants characterized by multi-ovulate ovaries, ovule initiation determines the maximal ovule number, thus greatly affecting seed number per fruit and seed yield. Investigating the regulatory mechanism of ovule initiation has both scientific and economic significance. However, the genetic and molecular basis underlying ovule initiation remains unclear due to technological limitations. Very recently, rules governing the multiple ovules initiation from one placenta have been identified, the individual functions and crosstalk of phytohormones in regulating ovule initiation have been further characterized, and new regulators of ovule boundary are reported, therefore expanding the understanding of this field. In this review, we present an overview of current knowledge in ovule initiation and summarize the significance of ovule initiation in regulating the number of plant offspring, as well as raise insights for the future study in this field that provide potential routes for the improvement of crop yield.

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