Definition of plasmolysis in US English:



  • Contraction of the protoplast of a plant cell as a result of loss of water from the cell.

    • ‘By contrast to healthy control root hairs, incipient plasmolysis and loss of root hair cytosolic content was also observed.’
    • ‘The presence of Casparian bands was confirmed by band plasmolysis even in basal parts of old roots, which would not occur with suberin lamella deposition.’
    • ‘The findings of this study revealed for the first time in angiosperm cells that plasmolysis triggers an extensive reorganization of the AF cytoskeleton, which is involved in the regulation of protoplast shape and volume.’
    • ‘By contrast with mannitol, ionic osmotica induced plasmolysis of all root cells, irrespective of their position within the maize root apex (data not shown).’
    • ‘High temperatures can cause plasmolysis, change chloroplast coloration, or distort cell shape.’


Late 19th century: modern Latin, from plasmo- from late Latin plasma ‘mold’ + Greek lusis ‘loosening’ (because of the separation of the plasma membrane from the cell wall).