Assembly of photosystem II, a multiprotein complex embedded in the thylakoid membrane, requires stoichiometric production of over 20 protein subunits. Since part of the protein subunits are encoded in the chloroplast genome and part in the nucleus, a signalling network operates between the two genetic compartments in order to prevent wasteful production of proteins. Coordinated synthesis of proteins also takes place among the chloroplast-encoded subunits, thus establishing a hierarchy in the protein components that allows a stepwise building of the complex. In addition to this dependence on assembly partners, other factors such as the developmental stage of the plastid and various photosynthesis-related parameters exert a strict control on the accumulation, membrane targeting and assembly of the PSII subunits. Here, we briefly review recent results on this field obtained with three major approaches: biogenesis of photosystem II during the development of chloroplasts from etioplasts, use of photosystem II-specific mutants and photosystem II turnover during its repair cycle.