Abscisic acid, or ABA, was the final plant hormone isolated and identified. It was originally studied as a growth inhibitor isolated from senescent tissue. It was given the name abscisic acid, as it was thought to cause organ abscission. Eventually, scientists realized that ethylene is the hormone that induces abscission, but that abscisic acid also has a number of roles in plant development. These roles are in plant water relations, dormancy, and in the later stages of seed development. Since there are no direct effects induced by ABA for enhancing tree development or productivity and it is expensive to apply in the field, there are no current uses for ABA in fruit production.

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