A decade-long investigation of nitric oxide (NO) functions in plants has led to its characterization as a biological mediator involved in key physiological processes. Despite the wealth of information gathered from the analysis of its functions, until recently little was known about the mechanisms by which NO exerts its effects. In the past few years, part of the gap has been bridged. NO modulates the activity of proteins through nitrosylation and probably tyrosine nitration. Furthermore, NO can act as a Ca(2+)-mobilizing messenger, and researchers are beginning to unravel the mechanisms underlying the cross talk between NO and Ca(2+). Nonetheless, progress in this area of research is hindered by our ignorance of the pathways for NO production in plants. This review summarizes the basic concepts of NO signaling in animals and discusses new insights into NO enzymatic sources and molecular signaling in plants.