Standard Article

Calcium Signalling in Plants

  1. Peter D Bickerton,
  2. Jon K Pittman

Published Online: 15 MAY 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0023722



How to Cite

Bickerton, P. D. and Pittman, J. K. 2012. Calcium Signalling in Plants. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. University of Manchester, Manchester, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 MAY 2012


Ca2+ is an important signal transduction molecule that has been shown to regulate responses to a large number of environmental stimuli in plants and control many developmental processes. These stimuli induce the formation of Ca2+ signals within a cell, which are generated through the action of Ca2+ release and uptake from and into internal cellular stores or the apoplast by the activity of Ca2+ channels, pumps and exchangers. These signals take the form of elevations of Ca2+ with specific spatio-temporal characteristics which are thought to denote the initial stimulus and mediate an appropriate cellular response. Information is therefore hypothesised to be encoded in these signals, which are decoded and relayed to downstream gene expression regulators and protein kinases via an array of Ca2+-binding sensor proteins.

Key Concepts:

  • Calcium signals allow plants to specifically sense and respond to environmental stimuli.

  • Calcium signals are generated through the coordinated action of calcium influx channels and calcium efflux transporters.

  • A large network of calcium-binding proteins act as calcium sensors and relay calcium signals to downstream effector proteins.


  • Arabidopsis;
  • calcium;
  • calcium transport;
  • calmodulin;
  • protein kinases;
  • signal transduction;
  • transcription factors