ergot(redirected from ergots)
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1. Any of several fungi of the genus Claviceps, especially C. purpurea, that infect various cereal plants and form compact black masses of branching filaments that replace the grains of the host plant. Humans and livestock can be poisoned by ingesting ergot-infected grains.
2. The plant disease caused by such a fungus.
3. The dried sclerotia of ergot, usually obtained from rye seed and used as a source of several medicinally important alkaloids and as the basic source of lysergic acid.
[French, from Old French argot, cock's spur (from its shape), of unknown origin.]
1. (Plant Pathology) a disease of cereals and other grasses caused by ascomycete fungi of the genus Claviceps, esp C. purpurea, in which the seeds or grain of the plants are replaced by the spore-containing bodies (sclerotia) of the fungus
2. (Plant Pathology) any fungus causing this disease
3. (Medicine) the dried sclerotia of C. purpurea, used as the source of certain alkaloids used to treat haemorrhage, facilitate uterine contraction in childbirth, etc
[C17: from French: spur (of a cock), of unknown origin]
er•got(ˈɜr gət, -gɒt)
a. a disease of rye and other cereal grasses, caused by a fungus of the genus Claviceps, esp. C. purpurea, which replaces the affected grain with a long, hard, blackish sclerotial body.
b. the sclerotial body itself.
2. the dried sclerotium of C. purpurea, developed on rye plants, from which various medicinal alkaloids are derived.
[1675–85; < French: literally, a rooster's spur]
A fungus that infects rye, wheat, and other grain plants, forming black masses among the seeds. Grain infected with ergot is poisonous and can cause serious illness.
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|Noun||1.||ergot - a plant disease caused by the ergot fungus|
plant disease - a disease that affects plants
|2.||ergot - a fungus that infects various cereal plants forming compact black masses of branching filaments that replace many grains of the plant; source of medicinally important alkaloids and of lysergic acid|
rye ergot - a sclerotium or hardened mass of mycelium
fungus - an organism of the kingdom Fungi lacking chlorophyll and feeding on organic matter; ranging from unicellular or multicellular organisms to spore-bearing syncytia