The formation of seeds is a reproductive strategy in higher plants that enables the dispersal of offspring through time and space. Eudicot seeds comprise three main components, the embryo, the endosperm and the seed coat, where the coordinated development of each is important for the correct formation of the mature seed. In addition, the seed coat protects the quiescent progeny and can provide transport mechanisms. A key underlying process in the production of seed tissues is the formation of an extracellular matrix termed the cell wall, which is well known for its essential function in cytokinesis, directional growth and morphogenesis. The cell wall is composed of a macromolecular network of polymers where the major component is polysaccharides. The attributes of polysaccharides differ with their composition and charge, which enables dynamic remodeling of the mechanical and physical properties of the matrix by adjusting their production, modification or turnover. Accordingly, the importance of specific polysaccharides or modifications is increasingly being associated with specialized functions within seed tissues, often through the spatio-temporal accumulation or remodeling of particular polymers. Here, we review the evolution and accumulation of polysaccharides during eudicot seed development, what is known of their impact on wall architecture and the diverse roles associated with these in different seed tissues.
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