Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Idioms.


(computer science)
The selection, under control of a computer program, of one of two or more branches.
(nuclear physics)
The occurrence of two or more modes by which a radionuclide can undergo radioactive decay. Also known as multiple decay; multiple disintegration.



in plants. There are two distinct primary forms of branching, dichotomy and monopodial branching. In dichotomy the growth center divides into two new growth centers, which usually produce second-order branches, almost identical in length and thickness, which can in turn divide into third-order branches, and so on. This form of branching is characteristic of many algae, some fungi, club mosses, liverworts, and other plants. In monopodial branching the growth of the main axis does not stop, and second-order branches, usually less developed, form below the top of the main axis. These branches can also divide into third-order branches and so on. This type of branching is peculiar to spruce, pines, and other coniferous plants, to many herbaceous plants, to leafy mosses, and other plants.

False dichotomy arises from monopodial branching: the growth of the main axis stops and two nearly identical second-order branches, opposite each other, develop below its top and grow beyond the main axis. This may be observed in lilacs (under the inflorescences), the horse chestnut, and mistletoe. Sympodial branching can arise either from dichotomy or monopodial branching. In the first instance one of the branches develops more strongly, growing in the direction and taking on the external appearance of the main axis, and the other branch, which is less developed, becomes more like a branch of the following order. This kind of branching is found, for instance, in selaginella. In the second instance (more widespread) the growth of the main axis stops, and its place is taken by the side branch nearest the top. This kind of substitution can be repeated many times. Sympodial branching is widespread in flowering plants and is inherent in fruit trees and shrubs—lindens, hazels, willows, birch, aspen, rhizomes of grasses, and others. Branching determines the exterior appearance, or habitus, of the plant and is used in taxonomy. [Diagrams of the types of branching are shown in Figure 1.]

Figure 1. Diagrams of branching: (1) dichotomy, (2) monopodial, (3) sympodial, (4) false dichotomy. The roman numerals designate branches of various orders.

In addition to the stems, the roots, inflorescences, veins (conducting bundles) in leaves and stems, thalli in lower plants, and so forth can also branch. Occasionally shoots appear during branching that are different from the parental shoot (for example, during the tillering of grasses and the formation of runners and stolons).

References in periodicals archive ?
Noting that the FSLIC was a separate entity from the FHLBB, the Service determined "[u]nder the facts of this case" that the assistance agreement between the FSLIC and the taxpayer did not grant or promise the branching rights.
The latest financial institution to join the trend of branching into expanded format "super centers" is Indiana Federal Bank of Valparaiso, Ind.
According to officials at UMassFive, adopting this shared branching network will allow them, as well as their members, to be part of an organization that prides itself in promoting the same cooperative principles that the credit union is built on.
We've been looking forward to the opportunity to bring shared branching services to Rhode Island, and this is just the beginning.
The evidence from virtually all of the limited number of studies that compare interstate banking to branching suggests that, on average, both delivery systems have about the same cost structure.
Such requirements could also encourage foreign authorities to enact similar restrictions on branching activities by foreign banks, including U.
Over the past five years, credit union shared branching has seen explosive growth in the United States," said FSCC CEO Sarah Canepa Bang.
According to Sarah Canepa Bang, FSCC CEO, "The addition of Maine further enhances our commitment to grow shared branching on the East Coast.
By joining the FSCC shared branching network, each credit union's members are able to conduct financial transactions with their own institutions at the branches of other participating credit unions.
A true one-stop shopping experience, in-store branching enables members to conduct daily banking activities, while shopping for groceries.
In-store branching will allow Triangle to continue growing and expanding within the community.