Calcium signaling in plants

Cell Mol Life Sci. 1999 Feb;55(2):214-32. doi: 10.1007/s000180050286.


Changes in the cytosolic concentration of calcium ions ([Ca(2+)]i) play a key second messenger role in signal transduction. These changes are visualized by making use of either Ca(2+)-sensitive fluorescent dyes or the Ca(2+)-sensitive photoprotein, aequorin. Here we describe the advances made over the last 10 years or so, which have conclusively demonstrated a second messenger role for [Ca(2+)]i in a few model plant systems. Characteristic changes in [Ca(2+)]i have been seen to precede the responses of plant cells and whole plants to physiological stimuli. This has had a major impact on our understanding of cell signaling in plants. The next challenge will be to establish how the Ca(2+) signals are encrypted and decoded in order to provide specificity, and we discuss the current understanding of how this may be achieved.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / analysis*
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calcium Signaling*
  • Fluorescent Dyes / analysis
  • Fluorescent Dyes / metabolism
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena*
  • Plants / metabolism


  • Fluorescent Dyes
  • Calcium