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hypothecium (noun, pl. hypothecia;ascocarp term) – the lower part of the proper exciple, i. e., the layer of hyphae that is part of the purely fungal wall forming around an ascocarp, sometimes growing into a stipe that anchors the ascocarp as an extension within the thallus or raises the ascocarp above the thallus surface (Related terms: pseudopodetium, stipe, stalk). The term has also been used to refer generally to all layers of hyphae below the hymenium, but more accurately should be distinguished from the layer of ascogeneous hyphae, i. e., the subhymenium. Related terms: lower exciple.

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