Embryogenesis is a critical stage during the plant life cycle in which a unicellular zygote develops into a multicellular organism. Co-ordinated gene expression is thus necessary for proper embryo development. Polycomb and Trithorax group genes are members of evolutionarily conserved machinery that maintains the correct expression patterns of key developmental regulators by repressing and activating gene transcription. TRAUCO (TRO), a gene homologous to the Trithorax group of genes that can functionally complement a BRE2P yeast mutant, has been identified in Arabidopsis thaliana. It is demonstrated that TRO is a nuclear gene product expressed during embryogenesis, and loss of TRO function leads to impaired early embryo development. Embryos that arrested at the globular stage in the tro-1 mutant allele were fully rescued by a TRO expression clone, a demonstration that the tro-1 mutation is a true loss-of-function in TRO. Our data have established that TRO is the first trithorax-group gene homologue in plants that is required for early embryogenesis.