Under appropriate tissue culture conditions, plant cells can be induced to form embryos in a process called somatic embryogenesis (SE). SE facilitates clonal plant propagation and is therefore an important plant breeding tool. The transcription factor BABY BOOM (BBM) can stimulate SE in several plant species. The PhD thesis of Anneke Horstman covers her research on BBM-induced SE in Arabidopsis, by studying BBM’s protein complex partners and target genes. Horstman found that the ability of BBM to induce SE is shared with other closely related proteins, but that it depends on a high protein concentration in the cell. By studying BBM-DNA binding throughout the Arabidopsis genome, she could show that BBM regulates other genes that were also known to stimulate SE. Another highlight is the discovery that BBM physically binds to another class of transcription factors and that the two types of transcription factors have opposite effects on plant development.