The effect of abscisic acid (ABA) on the tolerance to oxidative stress in a freshwater green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, was investigated. Exogenously added ABA enhanced the growth of this alga, which was observed under continuous illumination but not in the dark. The cells treated with ABA for 24 h showed tolerance to oxidative stress caused by exposure to paraquat or hydrogen peroxide. In the ABA-treated cells, the activities of two antioxidant enzymes, catalase (CAT) and ascorbate peroxidase (APX), were significantly higher than those in the untreated control. The result suggests that ABA plays a role in the enhancement of tolerance to oxidative stress by increasing the activity of antioxidant enzymes.