Definition of haustorium in English:

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Pronunciation: /hôˈstôrēəm/

noun (plural haustoria /hôˈstôrēə/)

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.
Example sentences
  • 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.



Pronunciation: /hôstôrēəl/
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.


Late 19th century: modern Latin, from Latin haustor 'thing that draws in', from the verb haurire.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: haus·to·ri·um

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