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a hard blackish mass formed by certain fungi, as ergot.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.


, pl.


(sklē-rō'shē-ŭm, -shē-ă),
1. In fungi, a variably sized resting body composed of a hardened mass of hyphae with or without host tissue, usually with a darkened rind, from which fruit bodies, stromata, conidiophores, or mycelia may develop.
2. The hardened resting condition of the plasmodium of Myxomycetes.
Farlex Partner Medical Dictionary © Farlex 2012


  1. a resting stage in many fungi. It takes the form of a ball of HYPHAE varying in size from a pinhead to a football, and usually has a hard, dark-coloured exterior coating. Fruiting bodies may be formed eventually from the sclerotium (either sexual or asexual) or a MYCELIUM may form. Normally the sclerotium does not contain spores.
  2. the firm resting condition of a myxomycete. see MYXOMYCOTA.
Collins Dictionary of Biology, 3rd ed. © W. G. Hale, V. A. Saunders, J. P. Margham 2005