Mitogen-activated protein kinase and abscisic acid signal transduction

Results Probl Cell Differ. 2000;27:131-44. doi: 10.1007/978-3-540-49166-8_10.


The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) is a classical plant hormone, responsible for regulation of abscission, diverse aspects of plant and seed development, stress responses and germination. It was found that ABA signal transduction in plants can involve the activity of type 2C-phosphatases (PP2C), calcium, potassium, pH and a transient activation of MAP kinase. The ABA signal transduction cascades have been shown to be tissue-specific, the transient activation of MAP kinase has until now only been found in barley aleurone cells. However, type 2C phosphatases are involved in the induction of most ABA responses, as shown by the PP2C-deficient abi-mutants. These phosphatases show high homology with phosphatases that regulate MAP kinase activity in yeast. In addition, the role of farnesyl transferase as a negative regulator of ABA responses also indicates towards involvement of MAP kinase in ABA signal transduction. Farnesyl transferase is known to regulate Ras proteins, Ras proteins in turn are known to regulate MAP kinase activation. Interestingly, Ras-like proteins were detected in barley aleurone cells. Further establishment of the involvement of MAP kinase in ABA signal transduction and its role therein, still awaits more study.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / physiology*
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / physiology*
  • Plant Growth Regulators / physiology*
  • Plant Physiological Phenomena*


  • Plant Growth Regulators
  • Abscisic Acid