Calcium Signaling and Calcium Sensors: A General Paradigm Many extracellular signals, including light, biotic, and abiotic stress factors, elicit changes in cellular Ca 2+ concentration in plants (Trewavas and Knight, 1994 ; Bush, 1995 ; Braam et al., 1997 ; McAinsh et al., 1997 ; Sanders et al., 1999 ; Rudd and Franklin-Tong, 2001 ). In addition, many intrinsic growth and developmental processes, such as elongation of root hairs and pollen tube formation, are controlled by Ca 2+ transients (Felle and Hepler, 1997 ; Holdaway-Clarke et al., 1997 ; Wymer et al., 1997 ). Because different signals often elicit distinct and specific cellular responses, it is important to determine how cells can distinguish the Ca 2+ signals produced by different stimuli. Recent studies in both animal and plant cells suggest that a Ca 2+ signal is presented not only by the concentration of Ca 2+ but also by its spatial and temporal information (Franklin-Tong et al., 1996 ; Holdaway-Clarke et al., 1997 ; Dolmetsch et al., 1998 ; Li et al., 1998 ; Trewavas, 1999 ). A combination of changes in all Ca 2+ parameters produced by a particular signal is referred to as a "Ca 2+ signature."
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