Plastids are a diverse group of organelles found in plants and some parasites. Because genes encoding plastid proteins are divided between the nuclear and plastid genomes, coordinated expression of genes in two separate genomes is indispensable for plastid function. To coordinate nuclear gene expression with the functional or metabolic state of plastids, plant cells have acquired a retrograde signaling pathway from plastid to nucleus, also known as the plastid signaling pathway. To date, several metabolic processes within plastids have been shown to affect the expression of nuclear genes. Recent progress in this field has also revealed that the plastid signaling pathway interacts and shares common components with other intracellular signaling pathways. This review summarizes our current knowledge on retrograde signaling from plastid to nucleus in plant cells and its role in plant growth and development.
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