cuticle

(redirected from cuticula)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
Related to cuticula: cuticular

cuticle

1. dead skin, esp that round the base of a fingernail or toenail
2. another name for epidermis
3. any covering layer or membrane
4. the protective layer, containing cutin, that covers the epidermis of higher plants
5. the hard protective layer covering the epidermis of many invertebrates
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cuticle

 

(1) In animals, a solid formation on the surface of cells of epithelial tissue. In invertebrates, a derivative of cells of the single-layered integumental epithelium, or hypodermis. The functions of the cuticle are chiefly protective and supportive. In worms and arthropods, it forms a tough body covering. The composition of cuticle includes chitin (which, together with mineral substances and proteins, provides mechanical strength) and lipids (which make the cuticle impervious to water).

In vertebrates, which have a multilayered integumental epithelium to perform the protective function, the cuticle is found mainly on the surface of the epithelial cells that line the viscera (the intestines, the air passages of the respiratory organs, parts of the uriniferous tubules of the kidneys, and the urinary tracts). Each cell has its own cuticle, which is represented completely by the microvilli (the surface of a single cell of the small intestine in man having as many as 2,000). The activity of certain enzymes (for example, alkaline phosphatase, invertases, and maltases) has been discovered in the cuticle, testifying to the active participation of the cuticle in the functional activities of the organs.

(2) In plants, the cuticle is the thin protective film covering the epidermis of the leaves and stems and consisting of cutin. The cuticle is an unstructured formation, lacking corpuscular or fibrillar elements. It is resistant to chemical influences. It is absent in the underwater organs of aquatic plants, and it is poorly developed in plants that live in shade or damp soil. It is especially well developed in plants that must limit transpiration. The smooth, shiny cuticle of the leaves of tropical plants reflects some of the sunlight striking the plants and serves as a shield against excessive insolation. In many xerophytes, the protective properties of the epidermis are reinforced beneath the cuticle by a cuticular layer, which consists of a mixture of polysaccharides, cutin, and waxes. In the majority of xerophytes, the cuticular layer holds pale yellow pigments, which help make the cell wall impenetrable to ultraviolet rays.

M. E. ASPIZ

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

cuticle

[′kyüd·ə·kəl]
(anatomy)
The horny layer of the nail fold attached to the nail plate at its margin.
(biology)
A noncellular, hardened or membranous secretion of an epithelial sheet, such as the integument of nematodes and annelids, the exoskeleton of arthropods, and the continuous film of cutin on certain plant parts.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Chinchillidae.--El representante de esta familia, Lagidium viscacia, se caracterizo por presentar una medula anastomosada (fusion entre celulas adyacentes que definen diferentes formas y tamanos), de bordes celulares integros y forma de celulas reticulada, con una cuticula imbricada de forma petalo diamante "tipo D", escamas estrechas y lisas, de orientacion simple y bordes continuos (Fig.
(2014), quienes la denominaron claviforme (> a 10 [micron]m), aunque en sus figuras no se aprecian (superficie de la cuticula) las estrias tan marcadas como en los dos trabajos citados.
bassiana (cepa BbF2011), la supervivencia de las garrapatas se encontro asociada a la presentacion de micelos en la superficie de la cuticula. La presencia de la micosis observada en los grupos de garrapatas tratadas indica que B.
Nove especies apresentaram a cuticula com o padrao imbricado folidaceo estreito (Figs.
Caption: FIGURA 1: Eletromicrografia de varredura da testa de sementes intactas de garapa (testemunha), apresentando rachaduras ([right arrow]) em forma de placas na cuticula. UFV, Vicosa--MG.
Un alto porcentaje de germinacion puede ayudar a aumentar la probabilidad de infeccion de los conidios sobre la superficie del insecto antes de que sean removidas de la cuticula del insecto una vez que se pierda la capacidad de retencion.
A) Corte longitudinal de fruto sano de papaya (CU= cuticula; CE= celulas epidermicas; CP= celulas de parenquima; Barra = 50 [micro]m).
Na Figura 4 pode-se perceber que o contato com a agua promoveu a retirada de parte da camada de cuticula da fibra de coco, formando uma morfologia mais lisa e regular na sua superficie, porem as particulas globulares permaneceram fixadas as suas respectivas cavidades demonstrando que a acao da agua nao foi suficiente para a remocao dessas irregularidades.
A certa altura da vida, a cigarra secreta uma nova cuticula, e depois de romper o antigo involucro atraves de uma fenda, consegue escapar.