In angiosperms, a zygote generally divides into an asymmetric two-celled embryo consisting of an apical and a basal cell. This unequal division of the zygote is a putative first step for formation of the apical-basal axis of plants and is a fundamental feature of early embryogenesis and morphogenesis in angiosperms. Because fertilization and subsequent embryogenesis occur in embryo sacs, which are deeply embedded in ovular tissue, in vitro fertilization of isolated gametes is a powerful system to dissect mechanisms of fertilization and post-fertilization events. Rice is an emerging molecular and experimental model plant, however, profile of the first zygotic division within embryo sac and thus origin of apical-basal embryo polarity has not been closely investigated. Therefore, in the present study, the division pattern of rice zygote in planta was first determined accurately by observations employing serial sections of the egg apparatus, zygotes and two-celled embryos in the embryo sac. The rice zygote divides asymmetrically into a two-celled embryo consisting of a statistically significantly smaller apical cell with dense cytoplasm and a larger vacuolated basal cell. Moreover, detailed observations of division profiles of zygotes prepared by in vitro fertilization indicate that the zygote also divides into an asymmetric two-celled embryo as in planta. Such observations suggest that in vitro-produced rice zygotes and two-celled embryos may be useful as experimental models for further investigations into the mechanism and control of asymmetric division of plant zygotes.