tapetum(redirected from tapetums)
Also found in: Medical, Encyclopedia.
n. pl. ta·pe·ta (-tə)
1. Botany A nutritive tissue that surrounds certain developing spores, particularly the microspores within an anther.
a. A reflective membrane in the back of the eye of many animals that are active during low-light conditions.
b. A layer of fibers of the corpus callosum forming the roof of part of the lateral ventricle of the brain.
[Medieval Latin tapētum, coverlet, from Latin tapēte, *tapētum, from Greek tapēs, tapēt-; see tapestry.]
ta·pe′tal (-pēt′l) adj.
n, pl -ta (-tə)
1. (Botany) a layer of nutritive cells in the sporangia of ferns and anthers of flowering plants that surrounds developing spore cells
a. a membranous reflecting layer of cells in the choroid of the eye of nocturnal vertebrates
b. a similar structure in the eyes of certain nocturnal insects
3. (Anatomy) anatomy a covering layer of cells behind the retina of the eye
[C18: from New Latin, from Medieval Latin: covering, from Latin tapēte carpet, from Greek tapēs carpet]
n., pl. -ta (-tə).
1. Bot. a layer of nutritive tissue in a developing sporangium or anther that is absorbed as the spore matures.
2. Anat. any of certain membranous layers or layered coverings, as in the choroid coat in certain animals.
[1705–15; < New Latin; Medieval Latin tapētum coverlet (Latin, only pl.) < Greek tapēt-, s. of tápēs carpet]