The maternal-to-zygotic transition (MZT) is an essential developmental turning point during the alternation of generations in both animals and plants. MZT in animals includes two overlapping processes, clearance of maternal transcripts and zygotic genome activation. However, conclusions about the timing of plant zygotic genome activation and parental contributions to zygote genome activation are often contradictory. Now by overcoming technical limitations, Professor Sun Mengxiang and his colleagues comprehensively analyzed the characteristics of plant MZT, providing clear and convincing answers to this long-term puzzle in this field. These results have been published in “Developmental Cell” entitled "Two-Step Maternal-to-Zygotic Transition with Two-Phase Parental Genome Contributions". The first author of this paper is Zhao Peng, a young teacher in Wuhan University, and Sun Mengxiang is the corresponding author. This work was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China and Young Elite Scientists Sponsorship Program.