Low temperature, drought and salinity are major adverse environmental factors that limit plant productivity. Understanding the mechanisms by which plants perceive and transduce these stress signals to initiate adaptive responses is essential for engineering stress-tolerant crop plants. Molecular and biochemical studies suggest that abiotic stress signaling in plants involves receptor-coupled phosphorelay, phosphoinositol-induced Ca2+ changes, mitogen-activated protein kinase cascades and transcriptional activation of stress-responsive genes. In addition, protein posttranslational modifications and adapter or scaffold-mediated protein-protein interactions are also important in abiotic stress signal transduction. Most of these signaling modules, however, have not been genetically established to function in plant abiotic stress signal transduction. To overcome the scarcity of abiotic stress-specific phenotypes for conventional genetic screens, molecular genetic analysis using stress-responsive promoter-driven reporter is suggested as an alternative approach to genetically dissect abiotic stress signaling networks in plants.