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In the Arabidopsis thaliana genome, 11 genes encode bacterial-type two-component histidine kinases. Genetic and biochemical analyses indicate that five two-component histidine kinase-like proteins (ETR1, ETR2, EIN4, ERS1, and ERS2) function as ethylene receptors. A hybrid histidine kinase, CRE1 (also known as AHK4), acts as a cytokinin receptor, and a set of response regulators may be involved in cytokinin signal transduction. In addition to CRE1, histidine kinases CKI1 and CKI2 are likely to play important roles in cytokinin signaling. A database search of the entire Arabidopsis genome sequence has identified two additional homologs of CRE1. Arabidopsis seems to employ a hybrid histidine kinase, ATHK1, as an osmosensor. Plants widely use two-component systems in the detection of, and signal transduction by, the growth regulators ethylene and cytokinin, as well as in their responses to environmental stimuli.