Definition of plasmodesma in US English:


nounPlural plasmodesmata

  • A narrow thread of cytoplasm that passes through the cell walls of adjacent plant cells and allows communication between them.

    • ‘The symplastic path is mediated by plasmodesmata which bridge the cell walls between adjacent cells so that a cytoplasmic continuum is formed.’
    • ‘The unstained region around the periphery of most cells was almost certainly an artefact of plasmolysis, indicated by occasional contact points between plasmalemma and cell wall plasmodesmata.’
    • ‘Plant learning increases vasculature and increased communication between cells through plasmodesmata.’
    • ‘Hence, stromules may possibly be considered as organellar analogues of plasmodesmata, the cytoplasmic connections that join plant cells in many tissues.’
    • ‘It may traverse the root either through the cytoplasm of cells linked by plasmodesmata (the symplast) or through the spaces between cells (the apoplast).’


Early 20th century: from German Plasmodesma, from late Latin plasma ‘mold, formation’ + Greek desma ‘bond, fetter’.