An Arabidopsis homolog of the abscisic acid (ABA)-inducible cotton D19 and wheat Em genes was cloned and its expression assayed at two developmental stages in wild-type, ABA-deficient (aba) and three ABA-insensitive (abi) lines of Arabidopsis thaliana. Expression of this gene was reduced slightly in seeds of aba mutants and approximately ten-fold in abi3 mutants, but seed expression was not decreased in either abi1 or abi2 monogenic mutants. In contrast, the abi1 and abi2 mutants showed a very slight reduction of ABA inducibility in 8-day-old plants, while the responses of aba and abi3 mutants were comparable to that of wild type. Although previous studies have shown that none of the abi mutations show completely stage-specific effects, the results reported here indicate that the importance of each of the ABI loci in regulating this single gene is stage-dependent. Furthermore, the fact that none of the abi mutations show more than minor effects on exogenous ABA inducibility of the Arabidopsis D19/Em homolog in young plants suggests that an additional ABA signalling pathway may be operating during vegetative growth.