Plants sense light and gravity to orient their direction of growth. One common component in the early events of both phototropic and gravitropic signal transduction is activation of phospholipase C (PLC), which leads to an increase in inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate (InsP3) levels. The InsP3 signal is terminated by hydrolysis of InsP3 through inositolpolyphosphate-5-phosphatases (InsP 5-ptases). Arabidopsis plants expressing a heterologous InsP 5-ptase have low basal InsP3 levels and exhibit reduced gravitropic and phototropic bending. Downstream effects of InsP3-mediated signalling are not understood. We used comparative transcript profiling to characterize gene expression changes in gravity- or light-stimulated Arabidopsis root apices that were manipulated in their InsP3 metabolism either through inhibition of PLC activity or expression of InsP 5-ptase. We identified InsP3-dependent and InsP3-independent co-regulated gene sets in response to gravity or light stimulation. Inhibition of PLC activity in wild-type plants caused similar changes in transcript abundance in response to gravitropic and phototropic stimulation as in the transgenic lines. Therefore, we conclude that changes in gene expression in response to gravitropic and phototropic stimulation are mediated by two signal transduction pathways that vary in their dependence on changes in InsP3. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.