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Plant Cell Environ. 2009 Sep;32(9):1230-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2009.01982.x. Epub 2009 Apr 2.

Cell-specific mechanisms and systemic signalling as emerging themes in light acclimation of C3 plants.

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Department of Biology, University of Turku, Turku FI-20014, Finland.


Chloroplasts perform essential signalling functions in light acclimation and various stress responses in plants. Research on chloroplast signalling has provided fundamental information concerning the diversity of cellular responses to changing environmental conditions. Evidence has also accumulated indicating that different cell types possess specialized roles in regulation of leaf development and stress acclimation when challenged by environmental cues. Leaf veins are flanked by a layer of elongated chloroplast-containing bundle sheath cells, which due to their central position hold the potential to control the flux of information inside the leaves. Indeed, a specific role for bundle sheath cells in plant acclimation to various light regimes is currently emerging. Moreover, perception of light stress initiates systemic signals that spread through the vasculature to confer stress resistance in non-exposed parts of the plant. Such long-distance signalling functions are related to unique characteristics of reactive oxygen species and their detoxification in bundle sheath cells. Novel techniques for analysis of distinct tissue types, together with Arabidopsis thaliana mutants with vasculature-specific phenotypes, have proven instrumental in dissection of structural hierarchy among regulatory processes in leaves. This review emphasizes the current knowledge concerning the role of vascular bundle sheath cells in light-dependent acclimation processes of C3 plants.

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