The level of abscisic acid (ABA) in any particular tissue in a plant is determined by the rate of biosynthesis and catabolism of the hormone. Therefore, identifying all the genes involved in the metabolism is essential for a complete understanding of how this hormone directs plant growth and development. To date, almost all the biosynthetic genes have been identified through the isolation of auxotrophic mutants. On the other hand, among several ABA catabolic pathways, current genomic approaches revealed that Arabidopsis CYP707A genes encode ABA 8'-hydroxylases, which catalyze the first committed step in the predominant ABA catabolic pathway. Identification of ABA metabolic genes has revealed that multiple metabolic steps are differentially regulated to fine-tune the ABA level at both transcriptional and post-transcriptional levels. Furthermore, recent ongoing studies have given new insights into the regulation and site of ABA metabolism in relation to its physiological roles.
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