Using genetic tools to understand plant phosphoinositide signalling

Trends Plant Sci. 2009 Mar;14(3):171-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tplants.2008.12.002. Epub 2009 Feb 11.


Phosphoinositides (PIs) are regulatory lipids that control various physiological processes in eukaryotic organisms. As in other eukaryotes, the plant PI system is a central regulator of metabolism. The analysis of mutant plants that lack certain PI species has revealed their physiological relevance; however, knowledge of the factors controlling the distribution of PIs and the effects on their target proteins is still limited. To understand PI functions better, genetic approaches should be combined with biochemical analyses and cell biology, as has been done in several recent publications. Here, I highlight plant-specific physiological processes that are controlled by PIs and suggest future avenues of research. A detailed understanding of the functions and effects of PIs might offer new opportunities for modulating plant growth and hardiness against environmental influences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Techniques*
  • Phosphatidylinositols / biosynthesis
  • Phosphatidylinositols / metabolism*
  • Plant Development
  • Plants / enzymology
  • Plants / metabolism*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Stress, Physiological


  • Phosphatidylinositols