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contractile vacuole

 

Definition: a cavity formed by the accumulation of fluid in the ectoplasm of a protozoan; after increasing for a time it empties itself externally by a sudden contraction; it functions as an osmoregulatory mechanism for water balance, especially in freshwater protozoans.

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© Copyright 2018 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review date: Sep 19, 2016.

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