[ myōō′sĭ-jĕl′ ]
The slimy, viscous substance secreted by the roots of plants, consisting of a hydrated polysaccharide. Mucigel lubricates the tips of roots as they push their way through the soil during growth. Soil particles adhere to the mucigel layer around the root, improving the uptake of moisture and nutrients. The mucigel also encourages the growth of beneficial fungi and bacteria that fix nitrogen in the soil.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.