The accumulation of osmolytes in leaf tissues and the abscisic acid-induced stomatal closure are well-recognized mechanisms associated with drought tolerance in crop plants. We determine the response in terms of osmotic potential and the contents of leaf proline, glycine betaine and soluble sugar at booting and grainfilling stages of four wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) cultivars to drought and exogenously applied abscisic acid (ABA) in a pot study. Leaf sample were collected 3, 6 and 9 days after drought induction and at 48 and 72 h of re-watering (recovery). Marked decreases in osmotic potential associated with the accumulation of proline, glycine betaine and soluble sugars occurred under conditions of drought stress. Accession 011320 was most sensitive to drought and showed the largest decrease in osmotic potential and least accumulation of proline, sugar and glycine betaine The inhibitory effects of drought stress were ameliorated by exogenous application of ABA. This ameliorating effect was more pronounced at the booting than at grainfilling stage particularly in the sensitive accession 011320. Upon rewatering the recovery from drought stress was found to be greater in case of abscisic acid application. The leaf praline content is seen to be a suitable indicator for selecting drought-tolerant genotypes.