Plant organellar calcium signalling: an emerging field

J Exp Bot. 2012 Feb;63(4):1525-42. doi: 10.1093/jxb/err394. Epub 2011 Dec 26.


This review provides a comprehensive overview of the established and emerging roles that organelles play in calcium signalling. The function of calcium as a secondary messenger in signal transduction networks is well documented in all eukaryotic organisms, but so far existing reviews have hardly addressed the role of organelles in calcium signalling, except for the nucleus. Therefore, a brief overview on the main calcium stores in plants-the vacuole, the endoplasmic reticulum, and the apoplast-is provided and knowledge on the regulation of calcium concentrations in different cellular compartments is summarized. The main focus of the review will be the calcium handling properties of chloroplasts, mitochondria, and peroxisomes. Recently, it became clear that these organelles not only undergo calcium regulation themselves, but are able to influence the Ca(2+) signalling pathways of the cytoplasm and the entire cell. Furthermore, the relevance of recent discoveries in the animal field for the regulation of organellar calcium signals will be discussed and conclusions will be drawn regarding potential homologous mechanisms in plant cells. Finally, a short overview on bacterial calcium signalling is included to provide some ideas on the question where this typically eukaryotic signalling mechanism could have originated from during evolution.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Signaling / physiology*
  • Organelles / metabolism*
  • Plants / metabolism*


  • Calcium