Encodes a protein similar to the transcriptional regular of the animal Polycomb group and is involved in regulation of establishment of anterior-posterior polar axis in the endosperm and repression of flowering during vegetative phase. Mutation leads endosperm to develop in the absence of fertilization and flowers to form in seedlings and non-reproductive organs. Also exhibits maternal effect gametophytic lethal phenotype, which is suppressed by hypomethylation. Forms part of a large protein complex that can include VRN2 (VERNALIZATION 2), VIN3 (VERNALIZATION INSENSITIVE 3) and polycomb group proteins FERTILIZATION INDEPENDENT ENDOSPERM (FIE), CURLY LEAF (CLF) and SWINGER (SWN or EZA1). The complex has a role in establishing FLC (FLOWERING LOCUS C) repression during vernalization. In the ovule, the FIE transcript levels increase transiently just after fertilization.