In plants, two-component systems play important roles in signal transduction in response to environmental stimuli and growth regulators. Genetic and biochemical analyses indicate that sensory hybrid-type histidine kinases, ETR1 and its homologs, function as ethylene receptors and negative regulators in ethylene signaling. Two other hybrid-type histidine kinases, CKI1 and ATHK1, are implicated in cytokinin signaling and osmosensing processes, respectively. A data base search of Arabidopsis ESTs and genome sequences has identified many homologous genes encoding two-component regulators. We discuss the possible origins and functions of these two-component systems in plants.