Meristem definition

mĕrĭ-stĕm
Frequency:
The undifferentiated plant tissue from which new cells are formed, as that at the tip of a stem or root.
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Undifferentiated plant tissue, as the growing tips of roots and stems, the cambium, etc., consisting of actively growing and dividing cells that give rise to various permanent tissues.
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Plant tissue whose cells actively divide to form new tissues that cause the plant to grow. The originally undifferentiated cells of the meristem can produce specialized cells to form the tissues of roots, leaves, and other plant parts. The meristem includes the growing tips of roots and stems (the apical meristems) and the tissue layer known as cambium.
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(botany) The plant tissue composed of totipotent cells that allows plant growth.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
meristem
Plural:
meristems

Origin of meristem

  • Greek meristos divided (from merizein to divide) (from meris division (s)mer-2 in Indo-European roots) -em (as in xylem) (phloem)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From the Ancient Greek μεριστός (meristos, “divided"). First used German in 1858, by Karl Wilhelm von Nägeli (1817-1891) in his Beiträge zur Wissenschaftlichen Botanik.

    From Wiktionary