entire mass of protoplasm of all the cells in a plant. interconnected by plasmodesmata. Symplast (contrast with apoplasm ).

symplasm (Wikipedia)

A syncytium or symplasm (/sɪnˈsɪʃiəm/; plural syncytia; from Greek: σύν syn "together" and κύτος kytos "box, i.e. cell") is a multinucleated cell that can result from multiple cell fusions of uninuclear cells (i.e., cells with a single nucleus), in contrast to a coenocyte, which can result from multiple nuclear divisions without accompanying cytokinesis. The term may also refer to cells interconnected by specialized membrane with gap junctions, as seen in the heart muscle cells and certain smooth muscle cells, which are synchronized electrically in an action potential.

Another (correct and well-established) use of the word syncytium is found in embryogenesis to refer to the coenocytic blastoderm embryos of invertebrates, such as Drosophila melanogaster.

« Back to Glossary Index
Scroll to Top