Interploidy crosses fail in many plant species due to abnormalities in endosperm development. In the inbreeding species Arabidopsis thaliana, both paternal and maternal excess interploidy crosses usually result in viable seed that exhibit parent-of-origin effects on endosperm development and final seed size. Paternal excess crosses result in extended proliferation of the endosperm and larger seeds, while conversely maternal excess crosses result in early endosperm cellularisation and smaller seeds. Investigations into the effect of parental gene dosage on seed development have revealed that MADS box transcription factors, particularly the AGAMOUS-like family, play important roles in controlling endosperm proliferation. The important crop genus Brassica contains self-incompatible outbreeding species and has a larger and more complex genome than the closely related Arabidopsis. Here we show that although Brassica oleracea displays strong parent-of-origin effects on seed development, triploid block due to lethal disruption of endosperm development was restricted to paternal excess, with maternal excess crosses yielding viable seed. In addition, transcriptome analyses of Brassica homologues of Arabidopsis genes linked to parent-of-origin effects revealed conservation of some mechanisms controlling aspects endosperm behaviour in the two species. However, there were also differences that may explain the failure of the paternal excess cross in B. olerace
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