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1. A small gemma or similar structure, especially a reproductive structure in certain sponges that remains dormant for some time and later develops into a new individual.
2. A hypothetical particle in the theory of pangenesis, postulated to be produced by cells and to be responsible for transmitting traits from parent to offspring.

[French, from Latin gemmula, diminutive of gemma, bud; see gembh- in Indo-European roots.]

gem′mu·lif′er·ous (jĕm′yo͞o-lĭf′ər-əs) adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Zoology) zoology a cell or mass of cells produced asexually by sponges and developing into a new individual; bud
2. (Botany) botany a small gemma
3. (Biology) a small hereditary particle postulated by Darwin in his theory of pangenesis
[C19: from French, from Latin gemmula a little bud; see gem]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈdʒɛm yul)

1. a small gemma.
2. any asexually produced clusterof cells capable of developing into a new individual.
[1835–45; < French < Latin gemmula. See gemma, -ule]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.gemmule - the physically discrete element that Darwin proposed as responsible for heredity
hypothesis, theory, possibility - a tentative insight into the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena; "a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory"; "he proposed a fresh theory of alkalis that later was accepted in chemical practices"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
These bodies have no relation whatever with the production of the eggs or gemmules, as they are formed before th young polypi appear in the cells at the end of the growin branches; as they move independently of the polypi, and d not appear to be in any way connected with them; and a they differ in size on the outer and inner rows of cells, I hav little doubt, that in their functions, they are related rathe to the horny axis of the branches than to the polypi in th cells.
8.--SEM photos (A) Trochospongilla leidii, gemmulosclere, (B) Trochospongilla leidii, megasclere, (C) Trochospongilla leidii, gemmule
Therefore, Harvey conceived development as a gradual process of generation and growth starting from a homogeneous substance and driven by a plastic power: "In the egg then, as we have said, there is no distinct part or prepared matter present, from which the foetus is formed; but in the same way as the apex or gemmule protrudes in a seed; so in the egg, there is a macula or cicatricula, which endowed with plastic power, grows into the eye of the egg and the colliquament, from which and in which the primordial or rudimentary parts of the chick, the blood, to wit, and the punctum saliens are engendered, nourished, and augmented, until the perfect chick is developed" (Harvey, 1847, p.
The effect of cadmium and mercury on gemmule formation and gemmosclere morphology in Ephydatia fluviatilis (Porifera: Spongillidae).
Choosing a desirable plant density as for the continental conditions of region cause better gemmule establishment, more effective use of light, nutrients and environmental factors, better competition against weeds and finally more yield increase [10].
Synergy between low temperature and desiccation in breaking gemmule diapause of Eunapius fragilis (Leidy).
Directional translocation of cells and nutrients occurs in gemmule formation (Rasmont and de Vos, 1974) and during oogenesis (Fell, 1983), but this transport occurs over very short distances.
Typically, spicule and gemmule morphology are used as key identifying morphometries, but accurate identification can be challenging due to the degree of similarity between spicule and gemmule structure and the absence of gemmules in some species (Ricciardi and Reiswig, 1993; Manconi and Pronzato, 2008).
(5) Darwin even proposed a Lamarkian form of inheritance called gemmules which gave a kind of environmental feed back into the genome of organisms (Darwin, C.
Absolute space, absolute time, phlogiston, and gemmules were at one time deemed essential; more recendy, dark matter and dark energy have been added.The cosmological constant (A) has come, gone, and come back.
Hatching of freshwater sponge gemmules after low temperature exposure: Ephydatia mulleri (Porifera: Spongillidae).