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Meaning of Biology Prefix Meso-

Updated on September 9, 2012

Importance Of Learning Biology Terminology

In most sciences, including biology, there is a preponderance of new terminology that must be learned quickly and remembered. Research suggests that students who are knowledgeable of biological terminology do much better in standardized testing including the EOC, ACT, and PSAT tests. It is helpful that students learn to recognize word parts which usually give a clue to the meaning of the entire word. Identifying common prefixes and suffixes in a word allows students to relate them to the definitions. In biology, there are many suffixes and prefixes commonly used. After their meanings are memorized, it will become easier to remember and learn new terminology.


'Meso' Structures In Biology

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Horizontal disposition of the peritoneum in the lower part of the abdomen.  3. mesenteryLeaf anatomy. Legend: 1) cuticle 2) upper epidermis 3) palisade mesophyll 4) spongy mesophyll 5) lower epidermis 6) stoma 7) guard cells 8) xylem 9) phloem 10) vascular bundleInsect anatomy diagram.  Number 9 is the mesothorax where the wings attach.
Horizontal disposition of the peritoneum in the lower part of the abdomen.  3. mesentery
Horizontal disposition of the peritoneum in the lower part of the abdomen. 3. mesentery | Source
Leaf anatomy. Legend: 1) cuticle 2) upper epidermis 3) palisade mesophyll 4) spongy mesophyll 5) lower epidermis 6) stoma 7) guard cells 8) xylem 9) phloem 10) vascular bundle
Leaf anatomy. Legend: 1) cuticle 2) upper epidermis 3) palisade mesophyll 4) spongy mesophyll 5) lower epidermis 6) stoma 7) guard cells 8) xylem 9) phloem 10) vascular bundle | Source
Insect anatomy diagram.  Number 9 is the mesothorax where the wings attach.
Insect anatomy diagram. Number 9 is the mesothorax where the wings attach. | Source

Meaning Of The Prefix 'Meso'

Meso is a prefix (a group of letters added before a word to alter its meaning and form a new word) which means middle, between, partially, or intermediate. It is derived from the ancient Greek word 'mesos' meaning 'middle'. Meso, as a prefix, is extremely common in scientific nomenclature including biology.

When the prefix meso comes before a noun it often refers to a spatial relationship, signifying location. For example, the word mesoderm refers to the middle layer of the skin and the word mesosphere refers to the middle layer of the atmosphere. The prefix meso can also refer to a temporal relationship. The word mesozoic means middle life and relates to a middle stage of earth's evolutionary history.

The prefix meso also occurs in biochemistry nomenclature. A meso is a substance having bilaterally symmetrical structure. It also has two or more atom groups not consisting of hydrogen. Tantaric acid, found in grapes, is a meso compound.

Meso Words In The Language Of Biology

Meso Word
Definition
Pronunciation
mesoblast
The middle layer of an embryo before the segregation of the germ layers. It is capable of becoming the mesoderm.
mez-uh-blast
mesocarp
The middle layer of the flesh of fruit, such as the yellow flesh of a peach.
mez-uh-kahrp
mesocephalic
A person with a medium sized head.
mez-oh-suh-fal-ik
mesoderm
The middle germ layer of a mesozoic embryo.
mez-uh-durm
mesogastria
Embryonic tissue attached to the early stomach.
mez-uh-gas-tree-uh
mesoglea
The non-cellular, gelly-like material in between the inner and outer body walls of a coelenterate or sponge.
mez-uh-glee-uh
mesohippus
An extinct member of the horse family. the word means 'middle horse'.
Mes`o*hip"pus
mesolithic
A transitional period of the Stone Age which occurred between the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods.
mez-uh-lith-ik
mesomorph
Having a muscular or sturdy body build, not too fat and not too thin.
mez-uh-mawrf
mesonephros
Means 'middle kidney' and is one of three embryonic organs which become the adult kidney in higher vertebrates.
met-uh-nef-ros
mesopause
The boundary or transition zone between the mesosphere and ionosphere.
mez-uh-pawz
mesopelagic
The intermediate depths of the ocean between approximately 100 and 1000 metres.
mez-uh-puh-laj-ik
mesophyll
Cells in the middle of a leaf cross section.
mez-uh-fil
mesophyte
A plant which prefers a moderately moist environment.
mez-uh-fahyt
mesosome
Folded structures which protrude into the plasma membrane of bacteria.
mez-uh-sohm
mesosphere
It is located between the stratosphere and the thermosphere, extending from about 20–50 miles (32–80 km) above the surface of the earth.
mez-uh-sfeer
mesothelia
Tissue which lines the body cavities.
mez-uh-thee-lee-uhm
mesothelioma
Cancer of the lung or lining of the pleural or abdominal cavities.
mez-uh-thee-lee-oh-muh
mesothorax
Middle division of an insect thorax
mez-uh-thaw-rax
mesozoa
Parasitic, multicellular worm-like organisms thought to be of intermediary complexity compared to protozoans and metazoans.
mez-uh-zoh-uh

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    • profile image

      nwaogu chinenye 

      19 months ago

      three years ago biology was my best subject

    • profile image

      sahiba manu 

      4 years ago

      Biology is my favovrite subject its owsm

    • Teresa Coppens profile imageAUTHOR

      Teresa Coppens 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Kj it was an interesting one to tackle but biology is my field of study! Glad you found it interesting.

    • kj force profile image

      kjforce 

      6 years ago from Florida

      Theresa Coppens..well done research..you did a good job with this subject..

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