Novel connections in plant organellar signalling link different stress responses and signalling pathways

J Exp Bot. 2016 Jun;67(13):3793-807. doi: 10.1093/jxb/erw136. Epub 2016 Apr 6.


To coordinate growth, development and responses to environmental stimuli, plant cells need to communicate the metabolic state between different sub-compartments of the cell. This requires signalling pathways, including protein kinases, secondary messengers such as Ca(2+) ions or reactive oxygen species (ROS) as well as metabolites and plant hormones. The signalling networks involved have been intensively studied over recent decades and have been elaborated more or less in detail. However, it has become evident that these signalling networks are also tightly interconnected and often merge at common targets such as a distinct group of transcription factors, most prominently ABI4, which are amenable to regulation by phosphorylation, potentially also in a Ca(2+)- or ROS-dependent fashion. Moreover, the signalling pathways connect several organelles or subcellular compartments, not only in functional but also in physical terms, linking for example chloroplasts to the nucleus or peroxisomes to chloroplasts thereby enabling physical routes for signalling by metabolite exchange or even protein translocation. Here we briefly discuss these novel findings and try to connect them in order to point out the remaining questions and emerging developments in plant organellar signalling.

Keywords: Acclimation to stress; calcium signal; chloroplast; mitochondria; phosphorylation; photosynthesis; reactive oxygen species; retrograde signalling; signalling; transcription factor..

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cell Nucleus / metabolism
  • Organelles / physiology*
  • Plant Cells / metabolism
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena*
  • Signal Transduction*
  • Stress, Physiological