noun, plural plasmodesmata [plaz-muh-des-muh-tuh] . Botany.
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. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To plasmodesmata
World English Dictionary
plasmodesma or plasmodesm (ˌplæzməˈdɛzmə, ˈplæzməˌdɛzəm)
n , pl -desmata, -desms
botany any of various very fine cytoplasmic threads connecting the cytoplasm of adjacent cells via minute holes in the cell walls
[C20: from plasmo- + Greek desma bond]
plasmodesm or plasmodesm (ˌplæzməˈdɛzmə, ˈplæzməˌdɛzəm, -ˈdɛzmətə)
[C20: from plasmo- + Greek desma bond]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Encyclopedia Britannica


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).

Learn more about plasmodesmata with a free trial on

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature