The biogenesis and positioning of organelles involves complex interacting processes and precise control. Progress in our understanding is being made rapidly as advances in analysing the nuclear and organellar genome and proteome combine with developments in live-cell microscopy and manipulation at the subcellular level. This paper introduces the collected papers resulting from Organelle Biogenesis and Positioning in Plants, the 2009 Biochemical Society Annual Symposium. Including papers on the nuclear envelope and all major organelles, it considers current knowledge and progress towards unifying themes that will elucidate the mechanisms by which cells generate the correct complement of organelles and adapt and change it in response to environmental and developmental signals.

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