Redox regulation is a central control element in cell metabolism. It is employed to adjust photosynthesis and the antioxidant defence system of leaves to the prevailing environment. During recent years progress has been made in describing the redox-dependent alterations in metabolism, the thiol/disulfide proteome, the redox-dependent and cross-talking signalling pathways and the target genes of redox regulation. Some transcription factors have been identified as proteins that perform thiol/disulfide transitions linked to the redox-regulation of specific plant promoters. In addition first mathematical models have been designed to simulate antioxidant defence and predict its response. Taken together, a profound experimental data set has been generated which allows to approach a systems biology type of understanding of antioxidant defence in photosynthesising cells in the near future. Since oxidative stress is likely to limit plant growth under stress, such a systematic understanding of antioxidant defence will help to define novel targets for breeding stress-tolerant plants.