Pellicle

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pellicle

[′pel·ə·kəl]
(cell and molecular biology)
A plasma membrane.
(invertebrate zoology)
A thin protective membrane, as on certain protozoans.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pellicle

 

a condensed layer of cytoplasm on the body surface of many protozoans, such as flagellates and infusorians. It is sometimes thin and elastic and does not inhibit change in body shape. In other cases, it is solid and defines a constant body shape. The exterior of the pellicle is often sculptured, with denticles, papillae, ridges, or other formations. Study of the pellicle’s ultrastructure in the electron microscope shows that the pellicle is usually composed of two separated layers. Each layer, in turn, consists of two membranes, with a less dense, narrow fissure between them.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.