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[plaz-muh-des-muh] /ˌplæz məˈdɛs mə/
noun, plural plasmodesmata
[plaz-muh-des-muh-tuh] /ˌplæz məˈdɛs mə tə/ (Show IPA).
any of many minute strands of cytoplasm that extend through plant cell walls and connect adjoining cells.
< German (1901) < Greek plasmo- plasmo- + désma bond, fetter Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for plasmodesmata


noun (pl) -desmata (-ˈdɛzmətə), -desms
(botany) any of various very fine cytoplasmic threads connecting the cytoplasm of adjacent cells via minute holes in the cell walls
Word Origin
C20: from plasmo- + Greek desma bond
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for plasmodesmata


microscopic cytoplasmic canal that passes through plant-cell walls and allows direct communication of molecules between adjacent plant cells. Plasmodesmata are formed during cell division, when traces of the endoplasmic reticulum become caught in the new wall that divides the parent cell. The two progeny cells may be connected by thousands of plasmodesmata, which contain rings of membrane at each end that are thought to regulate the passage of molecules. By overcoming the plasma-membrane barrier, plasmodesmata unite plant cells into syncytial tissues (masses of cytoplasm that have multiple nuclei).

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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