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plectenchyma (noun,no plural) – a pseudotissue formed by more or less tightly interwoven filaments (Related terms: hyphae, trichal, siphonal). In a complex thallus the plectenchyma typically forms into several distinct layers, each layer assuming different functions, more or less analogous to the various functions of true tissues. Unlike parenchyma, no true meristematic growth is known from plectenchyma. Instead, the filaments in a plectenchyma grow separately and divide only apically, with the apical cell not capable of organized isodiametrical division (cf. hyphal tip growth). Plectenchyma are characteristic for thalli, stromata and fruiting bodies of Fungi. Fungal plectenchyma may become very complex and almost appear like true tissues (parenchyma) of vascular plants; cf. paraplectenchyma). They also occur in many other organisms that frequently form complex thalli, e. g., the Red Algae (Rhodophyta). Kind of:tissue-type.

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