||The success of the first meiotic division relies (among other factors) on the formation of bivalents between homologous chromosomes, the monopolar orientation of the sister kinetochores at metaphase I and the maintenance of centromeric cohesion until the onset of anaphase II. The meiotic cohesin subunit, Rec8 has been reported to be one of the key players in these processes, but its precise role in kinetochore orientation is still under debate. By contrast, much less is known about the other non-SMC cohesin subunit, Scc3. We report the identification and the characterisation of AtSCC3, the sole Arabidopsis homologue of Scc3. The detection of AtSCC3 in mitotic cells, the embryo lethality of a null allele Atscc3-2, and the mitotic defects of the weak allele Atscc3-1 suggest that AtSCC3 is required for mitosis. AtSCC3 was also detected in meiotic nuclei as early as interphase, and bound to the chromosome axis from early leptotene through to anaphase I. We show here that both AtREC8 and AtSCC3 are necessary not only to maintain centromere cohesion at anaphase I, but also for the monopolar orientation of the kinetochores during the first meiotic division. We also found that AtREC8 is involved in chromosome axis formation in an AtSPO11-1-independent manner. Finally, we provide evidence for a role of AtSPO11-1 in the stability of the cohesin complex.