Plastid proteins are encoded in two genomes, one in the nucleus and the other in the organelle. The expression of genes in these two compartments in coordinated during development and in response to environmental parameters such as light. Two converging approaches reveal features of this coordination: the biochemical analysis of proteins involved in gene expression, and the genetic analysis of mutants affected in plastid function or development. Because the majority of proteins implicated in plastid gene expression are encoded in the nucleus, regulatory processes in the nucleus and in the cytoplasm control plastid gene expression, in particular during development. Many nucleus-encoded factors involved in transcriptional and posttranscriptional steps of plastid gene expression have been characterized. We are also beginning to understand whether and how certain developmental or environmental signals perceived in one compartment may be transduced to the other.