Haustorium

Definition - What does Haustorium mean?

A haustorium is the portion of a parasitic fungus that draws nutrients from its host's tissues. While all major divisions of fungi form haustoria, a haustorium can adopt different forms. It should be noted that when haustoria siphon essential vitamins and nutrients from the host's cell walls, they do not actually invade the host plant’s cell membrane.

In some cases such as mycorrhizal fungi, haustoria can actually be beneficial to the host plant.

The plural form of hausorium is haustoria.

MaximumYield explains Haustorium

Haustoria are found in mistletoes and plants of the broomrape family.

Haustoria are formed when fungal hypha enters the cell wall of the plant and swells inside. A haustorium is made up of various organelles, mitochondria, nuclei, and cytoplasm. The haustorial cytoplasm is fringed by the plant’s plasma membrane.

A haustorium can be either root shaped or mycelium. The haustorial system is where functional exchange occurs. Complex haustoria systems may take the shape and proportions of a human hand, while smaller ones are shaped like a small sphere.

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