Abscisic (ab-SIS-ik) acid, or ABA, generally inhibits other hormones, such as IAA. It was originally thought to promote abscission, hence its name. Botanists now think that ethylene is the main abscission hormone. Abscisic acid helps to bring about dormancy in a plant's buds and maintains dormancy in its seeds. Abscisic acid causes a plant's stomata to close in response to drought. Water-stressed leaves produce large amounts of ABA. It is too costly to synthesize ABA for agricultural use.
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