Information processing without brains--the power of intercellular regulators in plants

Development. 2010 Apr;137(8):1215-26. doi: 10.1242/dev.034868.


Plants exhibit different developmental strategies than animals; these are characterized by a tight linkage between environmental conditions and development. As plants have neither specialized sensory organs nor a nervous system, intercellular regulators are essential for their development. Recently, major advances have been made in understanding how intercellular regulation is achieved in plants on a molecular level. Plants use a variety of molecules for intercellular regulation: hormones are used as systemic signals that are interpreted at the individual-cell level; receptor peptide-ligand systems regulate local homeostasis; moving transcriptional regulators act in a switch-like manner over small and large distances. Together, these mechanisms coherently coordinate developmental decisions with resource allocation and growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arabidopsis / genetics
  • Arabidopsis / physiology
  • Electronic Data Processing / methods*
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Plant*
  • Plant Development
  • Plant Growth Regulators / physiology*
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena
  • Plants / genetics*
  • Quercus / classification
  • Quercus / growth & development
  • Quercus / physiology
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Plant Growth Regulators