Tobacco plants (Nicotiana rustica L.) pre-exposed to leaf dehydration, mineral deprivation, salination, or BO(3) (3-) toxicity exhibited increased resistance to subzero temperature and to reduced oxygen in the root medium. The stressed plants all showed an elevated content of leaf abscisic acid. Upon transfer of mineral deprived and salinated plants to prestress conditions, a decline in leaf abscisic acid content to prestress levels took place together with a loss of the increased resistance to subzero temperature and to deprivation of root oxygen. Treatment with abscisic acid by direct application to the leaves or by addition to the root medium improved leaf resistance to subzero temperature and to deprivation of root oxygen. A common hormone-regulation mechanism involving abscisic acid is suggested for this phenomenon of "cross-adaptation" by which a given stress confers increased resistance to other, apparently unrelated stresses.