- • Abscisic acid (ABA) is known to function in plant stress responses and seed dormancy, and much is known about its detailed mechanisms of signal transduction. Recent studies suggest that this hormone may also play important roles in sugar signaling and assimilate distribution during fruit development. However, little is known about the role of ABA in actively growing or differentiating fruits and other plant organs or tissues.
- • To explore whether ABA functions during the early development of reproductive organs, we carried out ABA immunolocalization using monoclonal antibodies. The specific ABA accumulation pattern was verified by gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS).
- • ABA was not only detected in primordial cells of flower organs, but was also detected in nursing cells (e.g. tapetum and integuments), which function in supplying nutrition for germ cell development.
- • These findings suggest that, in addition to its well-known function as a ‘negative hormone’, ABA may play some ‘positive’ roles during plant development, including possible involvement in the regulation of assimilate distribution.