noun (plural haustoria /hôˈstôrēə/)Botany
A slender projection from the root of a parasitic plant, such as a dodder, or from the hyphae of a parasitic fungus, enabling the parasite to penetrate the tissues of its host and absorb nutrients from it.
- Parasitic plants can form haustoria within various host tissues, and this has led to convenient, yet unsatisfactory distinctions being made between a ‘shoot parasite’ and a ‘root parasite’.
- Cuscuta contains at least 158 species that no longer possess leaves, but their stems twine around host plants producing numerous haustoria to obtain nutrients.
- The germinated seedling infects host roots by developing an haustorium that penetrates the host root and serves as a physiological bridge between the two organisms.
- Example sentences
- The placentas are likewise the same in the four genera and comprise elongate haustorial sporophyte cells growing into the closely adjacent gametophyte cells.
- The host sieve elements of the phloem are lined by haustorial transfer cells of the parasite, which then allow unloading of host phloem solutes into the parasite haustorium.
- The sucrose supplied by the megagametophyte is absorbed by the embryo cotyledons, acting as haustorial organs, and then transported into the embryonic tissues for seedling growth and development.
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