Abscisic acid (ABA) is an important phytohormone that controls several plant processes such as seed germination, seedling growth, and abiotic stress response. Here, we report that AtYak1 plays an important role in ABA signaling and postgermination growth in Arabidopsis. AtYak1 knockout mutant plants were hyposensitive to ABA inhibition of seed germination, cotyledon greening, seedling growth, and stomatal movement. atyak1-1 mutant plants display reduced drought stress resistance, as evidenced by water loss rate and survival rate. Molecular genetic analysis revealed that AtYak1 deficiency led to elevated expression of stomatal-related gene, MYB60, and down-regulation of several stress-responsive genes. Altogether, these results indicate that AtYak1 plays a role as a positive regulator in ABA-mediated drought response in Arabidopsis. © 2016 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.