AskDefine | Define coenocyte

User Contributed Dictionary



  • a RP /ˈsiː.nəʊˌseɪt/
  • a US /ˈsiː.noʊˌseɪt/|/ˈsɛn.əˌseɪt/


  1. A cell with multiple nuclei, found in fungi, algae, protists and slime molds.

Extensive Definition

A coenocyte is a multinucleate cell. It can result from multiple nuclear divisions without accompanying cell divisions, or from cellular aggregation followed by dissolution of the cell membranes inside the mass. Coenocytes are found in fungi and some protists, such as algae and slime mold. Some plant structures, such as endosperm, are coenocytic as well.
A type of mycelium in which hyphae lack septa is known as aseptate or coenocytic. Fairy rings are a prime example of a coenocytic fungi. A large fairy ring may in fact just be one large cell with millions of nuclei.

See also

coenocyte in Japanese: 多核体
coenocyte in Portuguese: Cenocítica
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