• signal transduction;
  • MAP kinase;
  • pathogen response;
  • osmotic stress;
  • auxin;
  • cell cycle

Summry— Mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK) are important mediators in signal transmission, connecting the perception of external stimuli to cellular responses. MAPK cascades are involved in signalling various biotic and abiotic stresses, like wounding and pathogen infection, temperature stress or drought, but also some plant hormones, such as ethylene and auxin. Moreover, MAPKs have been implicated in cell cycle and developmental processes. In Arabidopsis mutant screens and in vivo assays several components of plant MAPK cascades have been identified. This review compares results obtained from functional analyses of MAPK cascades in plants with recent data obtained from searching the complete Arabidopsis genome.  This analysis reveals that plants have an overall of 24 MAPK pathways of which only a small subset has been studied so far.