Pellicle (biology)

Pellicle (biology)

The pellicle is a thin layer supporting the cell membrane in various protozoa, protecting them and allowing them to retain their shape. They vary from flexible and elastic to rigid. Although stiff, the pellicle is flexible and allows the protist to fit into tighter spaces. In ciliates and Apicomplexa, it is formed from closely packed vesicles called alveoli. In euglenids, it is formed from protein strips arranged spirally along the length of the body. Examples of protists with a pellicle are the euglenoids and the paramecium, a ciliate.


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