In numerous plant signal transduction pathways, Ca2+ is a versatile second messenger which controls the activation of many downstream actions in response to various stimuli. There is strong evidence to indicate that information encoded within these stimulus-induced Ca2+ oscillations can provide signalling specificity. Such Ca2+ signals, or ‘Ca2+ signatures’, are generated in the cytosol, and in noncytosolic locations including the nucleus and chloroplast, through the coordinated action of Ca2+ influx and efflux pathways. An increased understanding of the functions and regulation of these various Ca2+ transporters has improved our appreciation of the role these transporters play in specifically shaping the Ca2+ signatures. Here we review the evidence which indicates that Ca2+ channel, Ca2+-ATPase and Ca2+ exchanger isoforms can indeed modulate specific Ca2+ signatures in response to an individual signal.
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