noun (plural sclerotia /-SHēə/)Botany
The hard dark resting body of certain fungi, consisting of a mass of hyphal threads, capable of remaining dormant for long periods.
- In addition, many fungi are able to parasitize spores, sclerotia, or hyphae of other fungi, resulting in biocontrol.
- The Chinese sometimes include zhu ling (they use the sclerotium rather than the fruiting body) as an ingredient in herbal tonic formulas.
- It survives in soil as sclerotia or resting mycelium and is quite happy on many hosts, which allows it to survive for many years in the absence of soybeans.
Mid 19th century: modern Latin (former genus name), from Greek sklēros 'hard'.
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