fine cytoplasmic channel in higher plants that connects the cytoplasm of one cell to that of an adjacent cell

Plasmodesma (plural is 'plasmodesmata') is a microscopic channel across the cell wall of a plant cell.[2][3] It allows transport and communication between neighbouring cells. Plasmodesmata also evolved independently in some algae.

Plasmodesma allow molecules to travel between plant cells through the symplastic pathway
The structure of a primary plasmodesma. CW=Cell wall CA=Callose PM=Plasma membrane ER=Endoplasmic reticulum DM=Desmotubule Red circles=Actin Purple circles and spokes=Other unidentified proteins.[1]

Unlike animal cells, every plant cell is surrounded by a polysaccharide cell wall. Neighbouring plant cells are therefore separated by a pair of cell walls. Although cell walls are permeable to small soluble molecules, plasmodesmata allow direct, regulated, intercellular transport of substances between cells.[4]

Similar structures connect animal cells.[5][6] Stromules form between plastids in plant cells.[7]


  1. Maule, Andrew (December 2008). "Plasmodesmata: structure, function and biogenesis". Current Opinion in Plant Biology. 11 (6): 680–686. doi:10.1016/j.pbi.2008.08.002. PMID 18824402.
  2. Oparka K.J. 2005. Plasmodesmata. Blackwell. ISBN 1-4051-2554-3; ISBN 978-1-4051-2554-3
  3. Plasmodesmata (
  4. Traas, Jan & Vernoux, Teva 2002. The shoot apical meristem: the dynamics of a stable structure. Phil Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 357(1422): 737–747, page 744. [1]
  5. Bruce Alberts (2002). Molecular biology of the cell (4th ed.). New York: Garland Science. ISBN 0-8153-3218-1.
  6. Gallagher K.L. & Benfey P.N. (January 2005). "Not just another hole in the wall: understanding intercellular protein trafficking". Genes Dev. 19 (2): 189–95. doi:10.1101/gad.1271005. PMID 15655108. S2CID 43083409.
  7. Gray J.C.; et al. (2001). "Stromules: mobile protrusions and interconnections between plastids". Plant Biology. 3 (3): 223–33. doi:10.1055/s-2001-15204. S2CID 84474739.