Plant Glossary of



Plant Glossary M

Macerate: To separate cells by cutting, grinding, soaking, or other chemical or physical action

Magnetic Stirrer: A stirring device in which a whirling magnet attracts a magnetized stir bar placed inside a glass container on the plate.It is often combined with a hot plate to allow for heat while stirring

Maiden: A tree in it's first year

Mallet Cutting: A stem cutting that includes a mallet∼shaped portion of the previous year's growth

Marcot: Aerial layering, another name for air layering. This is done by ringing the bark and wrapping in moist moss, then plastic wrap.

Mature Wood: Wood that has hardened and formed fully mature bark

Medium: (plural: media) (1) A soil or soiless mix (2) The substrate for plant growth, specifically the mixture for of certain chemical compounds to form a nutrient rich gel or liquid in or on which tissue cultures are grown

Meiosis: The reduction division process by which haploid (n) sex cells (gametes) are produced. It is a reduction division because the number of chromosomes is reduced from 2n ton.

Meniscus: The curved upper surface of a column of liquid

Meristem: Tip of a shoot or root in which cells divide to produce leaf, flower, stem or root tissue, may be used in micropropagation

Meristem Culture: The in vitro culture of meristematic tissue, also misused more broadly to denote micropropagation

Mesophyll: The thin, soft tissue between the upper and lower epidermis of a leaf

Metabolism: The physiological activities of an organism

Metabolite: The product of metabolism See also secondary product

Micron: An obsolete term for one∼thousandth of a millimeter (0.001 mm) now called a micrometer (um)

Micropropagation: Literally, propagation on a very small scale, vegetative multiplication in vitro. It is used interchangeably with the terms tissue culture and in vitro culture

Mites: Any nearly microscopic animals of the order Acarina, class Arachnida. They can be a devastating contaminant of microculture, as well as any plants in the garden, greenhouse or home environment

Mitosis: The process of vegetative cell division in which the chromosomes duplicate and then divide

Molar Solution: One mole (one gram of molecular weight) of a substance in one liter of a solution

Mole: (1) a small mammal that lives underground. It is commonly thought to eat the roots of plants, but this is a misnomer. Instead, the mole lives on insects and other small animals that prey upon the plant root systems. (2) The molecular weight of a compound expressed in grams

Molecular Weight: The sum of atomic weights in a molecule

Monocarpic: Refers to plants that flower and produce seeds once, and then die

Monocot: A plant that produces only one seed leaf See monocotyledon

Monocotyledon: Angiosperm with a single seed leaf, parallel∼veined leaves, no cambium layer, and floral parts. (See also Dicotyledon

Monoecious: With separate male and female flowers on the same plant

Monopodial: With a stem or rhizome growing indefinitely from a terminal bud, not usually forming sideshoots

Morphogenesis: The anatomical and physiological development of an organism, the study of which is called morphology

Mother Plant: See Parent Plant

Mound Layering: A type of layering in which earth is heaped over the crown and bottom stems of a plant

Multiple: A fruit formed from several flowers into a single structure that shares a common axis, containing many capsules, follicles, samaras, or nutlets.
multiple of capsules sweetgum
multiple of follicles magnolia
multiple of samaras yellow-poplar, ash
multiple of nutlets sycamore, birch

Mutagen: A mutant∼inducing agent, such as radiation, ultraviolet light, or carcinogenic chemicals

Mutagenesis: The formation of mutants

Mutant: A plant that exhibits some variation (mutation) in characteristics due to a rearrangement or other change in genetic makeup

Mutation: A change in the genetic code of a cell. Mutations happen naturally as a consequence of environmental effects

Mycorrhiza: A fungus that associates, usually symbiotically, with plant roots


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