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prothallium

[proh-thal-ee-uh m]
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noun, plural pro·thal·li·a [proh-thal-ee-uh] /proʊˈθæl i ə/.
  1. Botany. the gametophyte of ferns and related plants.
  2. the analogous rudimentary gametophyte of seed-bearing plants.

Origin of prothallium

1855–60; < New Latin < Greek pro- pro-2 + thallíon, diminutive of thallós young shoot; see -ium
Related formspro·thal·li·al, pro·thal·lic, pro·thal·line [proh-thal-een, -ahyn] /proʊˈθæl in, -aɪn/, adjectivepro·thal·loid, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for prothallium

Historical Examples

  • At a later period, other organs are found also on the back of the prothallium.

    An Elementary Text-book of the Microscope

    John William Griffith

  • To make these, the prothallium should be placed between small pieces of pith, and the razor must be very sharp.

  • As soon as the fern is firmly established, the prothallium withers away.

  • The neck of the archegonium is quite long, but does not project above the surface of the prothallium (Fig. 77, H).

  • In the upper part of the prothallium several large archegonia are formed in much the same way as in the pteridophytes.