Mitochondrial biogenesis and function in plants require the expression of over 1000 nuclear genes encoding mitochondrial proteins (NGEMPs). The expression of these genes is regulated by tissue-specific, developmental, internal, and external stimuli that result in a dynamic organelle involved in both metabolic and a variety of signaling processes. Although the metabolic and biosynthetic machinery of mitochondria is relatively well understood, the factors that regulate these processes and the various signaling pathways involved are only beginning to be identified at a molecular level. The molecular components of anterograde (nuclear to mitochondrial) and retrograde (mitochondrial to nuclear) signaling pathways that regulate the expression of NGEMPs interact with chloroplast-, growth-, and stress-signaling pathways in the cell at a variety of levels, with common components involved in transmission and execution of these signals. This positions mitochondria as important hubs for signaling in the cell, not only in direct signaling of mitochondrial function per se, but also in sensing and/or integrating a variety of other internal and external signals. This integrates and optimizes growth with energy metabolism and stress responses, which is required in both photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic cells. © The Author 2014.