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[ai-reng-kuh-muh, ai-ren-] /ɛəˈrɛŋ kə mə, ɛəˈrɛn-/
noun, Botany
a tissue in certain aquatic plants, consisting of thin-walled cells and large intercellular spaces adapted for internal circulation of air.
Origin of aerenchyma
1895-1900; < New Latin; see aer-, parenchyma Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for aerenchyma
  • Stems submerged under water develop aerenchyma tissue characteristic of aquatic plants.
  • They are positioned above a prominent keel of spongy aerenchyma tissue which aids in keeping the large leaves afloat.
  • Ethylene effects on root growth and aerenchyma formation were similar to those observed for hypoxia treatment.
  • Diffusion through the plant's aerenchyma can supply atmospheric air to a depth of four meters.
British Dictionary definitions for aerenchyma


plant tissue with large air-filled spaces, which is typical of aquatic plants and allows air to reach waterlogged parts
Word Origin
C19: from aer(o)- + Greek enkhuma infusion
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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aerenchyma in Science
A spongy tissue with large air spaces found between the cells of the stems and leaves of aquatic plants. Aerenchyma provides buoyancy and allows the circulation of gases.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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