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Any of a group of extremely small bacteria that are similar to mycoplasmas in that they have a cell membrane instead of cell walls and can assume a variety of shapes, but are parasitic solely in plants. In many plants, phytoplasmas invade cells of the food-carrying tissue known as phloem and are usually spread by plant-sucking insects, such as the leafhopper, which draws its food from phloem. Phytoplasmas cause some 200 plant diseases affecting several hundred genera of plants. See also mycoplasma.


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  • Phytoremediation

    [fahy-toh-ri-mee-dee-ey-shuh n] /ˌfaɪ toʊ rɪˌmi diˈeɪ ʃən/ noun 1. a process of decontaminating soil or water by using plants and trees to absorb or break down pollutants. /ˌfaɪtəʊrɪˌmiːdɪˈeɪʃən/ noun 1. another name for bioremediation phytoremediation (fī’tō-rĭ-mē’dē-ā’shən) See under bioremediation.

  • Phytosanitary

    /ˌfaɪtəʊˈsænɪtərɪ/ adjective 1. of or relating to the health of plants

  • Phytosaur

    [fahy-tuh-sawr] /ˈfaɪ təˌsɔr/ noun 1. any armored, semiaquatic reptile of the extinct order Phytosauria, of the Mesozoic Era, resembling the crocodile but unrelated, having the nostrils high on the snout and with well-developed hind limbs suggestive of bipedal ancestors.

  • Phytosociology

    [fahy-toh-soh-see-ol-uh-jee, -shee-] /ˌfaɪ toʊˌsoʊ siˈɒl ə dʒi, -ʃi-/ noun 1. the branch of ecology dealing with the origin, composition, structure, and classification of plant communities. /ˌfaɪtəʊˌsəʊsɪˈɒlədʒɪ; -ˌsəʊʃɪ-/ noun 1. the branch of ecology that is concerned with the origin, development, etc, of plant communities

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