Abscisic acid: biosynthesis, inactivation, homoeostasis and signalling

Essays Biochem. 2015:58:29-48. doi: 10.1042/bse0580029.


The phytohormone abscisic acid (ABA) plays crucial roles in numerous physiological processes during plant growth and abiotic stress responses. The endogenous ABA level is controlled by complex regulatory mechanisms involving biosynthesis, catabolism, transport and signal transduction pathways. This complex regulatory network may target multiple levels, including transcription, translation and post-translational regulation of genes involved in ABA responses. Most of the genes involved in ABA biosynthesis, catabolism and transport have been characterized. The local ABA concentration is critical for initiating ABA-mediated signalling during plant development and in response to environmental changes. In this chapter we discuss the mechanisms that regulate ABA biosynthesis, catabolism, transport and homoeostasis. We also present the findings of recent research on ABA perception by cellular receptors, and ABA signalling in response to cellular and environmental conditions.

Keywords: ABA biosynthesis; ABA catabolism; ABA homoeostasis; ABA perception; ABA signalling; ABA transport; abscisic acid (ABA).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abscisic Acid / biosynthesis*
  • Abscisic Acid / metabolism*
  • Arabidopsis / metabolism
  • Biological Transport
  • Homeostasis*
  • Signal Transduction*


  • Abscisic Acid