Plasmodium (life cycle)
A plasmodium is an amoeboid, multinucleate and naked mass of cytoplasm that contains many diploid nuclei. The resulting structure, a coenocyte, is created by many nuclear divisions without the process of cytokinesis, which in other organisms pulls newly-divided cells apart. In some cases, the resulting structure is a syncytium, created by the fusion of cells after division.
The multinucleate developmental stages of some intracellular parasites, namely Microsporidia (now in Fungi) and Myxosporidia (now in Cnidaria), former cnidosporans, are also sometimes called plasmodia.
Similarly, in Rhizaria, the ameboid, multinucleate protoplasts of some Cercozoan algae, e.g. Chlorarachniophyta, are called plasmodia. These lack cell walls; the syncytia are created by cell fusion. Some plasmodiophorids and haplosporidians are other multinucleated rhizarians.
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