Plant growth and development are controlled by nine structurally distinct small molecules termed phytohormones. Over the last 20 years, the molecular basis of their signal transduction, from receptors to transcription factors, has been dissected using mainly Arabidopsis thaliana and rice as model systems. Phytohormones can be broadly classified into two distinct groups on the basis of whether the subcellular localization of their receptors is in the cytoplasm or nucleus, and hence soluble, or membrane-bound, and hence insoluble. Soluble receptors, which control the responses to auxin, jasmonates, gibberellins, strigolactones and salicylic acid, signal either directly or indirectly via the destruction of regulatory proteins. Responses to abscisic acid are primarily mediated by soluble receptors that indirectly regulate the phosphorylation of targeted proteins. Insoluble receptors, which control the responses to cytokinins, brassinosteroids and ethylene, transduce their signal through protein phosphorylation. This chapter provides a comparison of the different components of these signalling systems, and discusses the similarities and differences between them.

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