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[proh-tuh-nee-muh] /ˌproʊ təˈni mə/
noun, plural protonemata
[proh-tuh-nee-muh-tuh] /ˌproʊ təˈni mə tə/ (Show IPA).
a primary, usually filamentous structure produced by the germination of the spore in mosses and certain related plants, and from which the leafy plant which bears the sexual organs arises as a lateral or terminal shoot.
Origin of protonema
1855-60; < New Latin < Greek prōto- proto- + nêma thread
Related forms
protonemal, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for protonema


noun (pl) -nemata (-ˈniːmətə)
a branched threadlike structure that grows from a moss spore and eventually develops into the moss plant
Derived Forms
protonemal, protonematal (ˌprəʊtəˈniːmətəl; -ˈnɛmətəl) adjective
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin, from proto- + Greek nema thread
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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protonema in Science
Plural protonemata (prō'tə-nē'mə-tə, -něm'ə-)
The green filamentous or flat, thallus-like structure that grows from the germinated spores of liverworts and mosses and eventually gives rise to a mature gametophyte.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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