Development of the rudimentary embryo in mature carrot (Daucus carota) seed during imbibition was characterized. The small embryo in the carrot seed, located in the micropylar region, elongated into the lateral part during imbibition and attained about two-thirds the length of the seed before radicle protrusion. Developing embryos excised from imbibed seeds were only capable of germinating in both water and Murashige–Skoog (MS) medium when they reached maximum size. The corrosion cavity into which the embryo grew enlarged concomitantly with endosperm degradation. The expression of endo-β-mannanase (EC 184.108.40.206), which is assumed to be involved in endosperm degradation, was characterized. A cDNA encoding an endo-β-mannanase was obtained by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) using total RNA extracted from 24-h-imbibed carrot seeds. The full-length cDNA (DcMAN1) exhibited 64% deduced amino acid sequence identity with tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum) seed germination-associated mannanase (LeMAN2). DcMAN1 mRNA and endo-β-mannanase activity were first detected in the micropylar-half seed and then in the lateral-half seed. The timing of the appearance of DcMAN1 mRNA and endo-β-mannanase activity in the lateral-half seed corresponded with that of embryo development into this region. These results suggest that the expression of DcMAN1 and endo-β-mannanase activity in imbibed carrot seeds is associated with the enlargement of the corrosion cavity, which accompanies embryogenesis.