Efficient mRNA splicing is a prerequisite for protein biosynthesis and the eukaryotic splicing machinery is evolutionarily conserved among species of various phyla. At its catalytic core resides the activated splicing complex Bact consisting of the three small nuclear ribonucleoprotein complexes (snRNPs) U2, U5 and U6 and the so-called NineTeen complex (NTC) which is important for spliceosomal activation. CWC15 is an integral part of the NTC in humans and it is associated with the NTC in other species. Here we show the ubiquitous expression and developmental importance of the Arabidopsis ortholog of yeast CWC15. CWC15 associates with core components of the Arabidopsis NTC and its loss leads to inefficient splicing. Consistent with the central role of CWC15 in RNA splicing, cwc15 mutants are embryo lethal and additionally display strong defects in the female haploid phase. Interestingly, the haploid male gametophyte or pollen in Arabidopsis, on the other hand, can cope without functional CWC15, suggesting that developing pollen might be more tolerant to CWC15-mediated defects in splicing than either embryo or female gametophyte.