Abscisic Acid (ABA)

Definition - What does Abscisic Acid (ABA) mean?

Abscisic acid (ABA) is an inhibitory hormone in plants that helps a plant adapt to stress. It also plays a key role in the closure of the plant’s stomata, bud development, and seed dormancy. The hormone not only allows the plant to survive during times of adversity, but also assists the plant in adapting to the changing seasons.

Abscisic acid was first discovered in the cotton plant during the early 1960s by F.T. Addicott and his associates. It occurs in a plant’s leaves, green fruits, stems, and in the roots.

MaximumYield explains Abscisic Acid (ABA)

Abscisic acid works inside of a plant in several ways. It causes the plant’s stomata (pores of the plant) to close so the plant can better conserve water during periods of drought. The hormone also has the ability to delay seed germination.

Whenever the plant undergoes stress, such as during a severe drought, during freezing weather, or if it is exposed to environmental pollutants, its production of abscisic acid increases.

When a drought occurs, abscisic acid also encourages the plant’s roots to more readily absorb water from the surrounding soil. In the autumn, ABA triggers the plant to enter dormancy and cease producing new growth in preparation for the cold winter weather.

Abscisic acid is one of the five main types of plant hormones, with the others being cytokinins, gibberellins, ethylene, and auxins. Plant hormones are grouped into five classes depending on their chemical makeup and what they cause to occur, or prevent from occurring.

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