Plant environmental sensing relies on specialized plastids

In plants, plastids are thought to interconvert to various forms that are specialized for photosynthesis, starch and oil storage, and diverse pigment accumulation. Post-endosymbiotic evolution has led to adaptations and specializations within plastid populations that align organellar functions with different cellular properties in primary and secondary metabolism, plant growth, organ development, and environmental sensing. Here, we review the plastid biology literature in light of recent reports supporting a class of 'sensory plastids' that are specialized for stress sensing and signaling. Abundant literature indicates that epidermal and vascular parenchyma plastids display shared features of dynamic morphology, proteome composition, and plastid-nuclear interaction that facilitate environmental sensing and signaling. These findings have the potential to reshape our understanding of plastid functional diversification.

This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Experimental Botany following peer review. The version of record [Plant environmental sensing relies on specialized plastids. Journal of Experimental Botany 73, 21 p7155-7164 (2022)] is available online at:



Work Title Plant environmental sensing relies on specialized plastids
Open Access
  1. Sally A Mackenzie
  2. Phillip M Mullineaux
  1. Abiotic stress
  2. Epidermis
  3. Reactive oxygen species
  4. Retrograde signaling
  5. Stromules
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Journal of Experimental Botany
Publication Date September 22, 2022
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
Deposited January 02, 2023




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Sensory_plastid_review.pdf
  • Added Creator Sally A Mackenzie
  • Added Creator Phillip M Mullineaux
  • Published
  • Updated Keyword, Publication Date Show Changes
    • Abiotic stress, Epidermis, Reactive oxygen species, Retrograde signaling, Stromules
    Publication Date
    • 2022-11-19
    • 2022-09-22
  • Updated