Calcium Signaling During Abiotic Stress in Plants

Int Rev Cytol. 2000;195:269-324. doi: 10.1016/s0074-7696(08)62707-2.


Plants experience a wide array of environmental stimuli, not all of which are favorable, and, unlike animals, are unable to move away from stressful environments. They therefore require a mechanism with which to recognize and respond to abiotic stresses of many different types. Frequently this mechanism involves intracellular calcium. Stress-induced changes in the cytosolic concentration of Ca2+ ([Ca2+]cyt) occur as a result of influx of Ca2+ from outside the cell, or release of Ca2+ from intracellular stores. These alterations in [Ca2+]cyt constitute a signal that is transduced via calmodulin, calcium-dependent protein kinases, and other Ca(2+)-controlled proteins to effect a wide array of downstream responses involved in the protection of the plant and adjustment to the new environmental conditions. Ca2+ signaling has been implicated in plant responses to a number of abiotic stresses including low temperature, osmotic stress, heat, oxidative stress, anoxia, and mechanical perturbation, which are reviewed in this article.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anaerobiosis
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Signaling*
  • Cold Temperature
  • Heat Stress Disorders
  • Osmotic Pressure
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Plants / ultrastructure*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Thermosensing


  • Calcium