We have isolated a rab-related (responsive to ABA) gene, rab18 from Arabidopsis thaliana. The gene encodes a hydrophilic, glycine-rich protein (18.5 kDa), which contains the conserved serine- and lysine-rich domains characteristic of similar RAB proteins in other plant species. The rab18 mRNA accumulates in plants exposed to low temperature, water stress or exogenous ABA but not in plants subjected to heat shock. This stress-related accumulation of the rab18 mRNA is markedly decreased in the ABA-synthesis mutant aba-1, the ABA-response mutant abi-1 or in wild-type plants treated with the carotenoid synthesis inhibitor, fluridone. Exogenous ABA treatment can induce the rab18 mRNA in the aba-1 mutant but not in the abi-1 mutant. These results provide direct genetic evidence for the ABA-dependent regulation of the rab18 gene in A. thaliana.