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eukaryote

Pronunciation: yu-kar'e-ot

Definition:

  1. A cell containing a membrane-bound nucleus with chromosomes of DNA and proteins, generally large (10–100 mcm), with cell division involving a form of mitosis in which mitotic spindles (or some microtubule arrangement) are involved; mitochondria are present, and, in photosynthetic species, plastids are found; undulipodia (cilia or flagella) are of the complex 9+2 organization of microtubules and various proteins. Possession of an eukaryote type of cell characterizes the four kingdoms above the Monera or prokaryote level of complexity: Protoctista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia, combined into the superkingdom Eukaryotae.
  2. Common name for members of the Eukaryotae.

Synonym(s): eucaryote

[eu- + G. karyon, kernel, nut]

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© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.
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