Amastigote

Definition

noun, plural: amastigotes

(protistology) A cell (or the unicellular organism) that does not have flagella (or cilia)


Supplement

Amastigotes are protist cells that lack flagella or cilia. Trypanosomatids, in particular, have different morphological forms depending on their developmental stage. These morphological forms (or developmental stages) are amastigote, promastigote, epimastigote, trypomastigote, opisthomastigote, and choanomastigote.

Amastigotes appear as non-flagellated cell in contrast to other morphological forms. For instance, trypomastigotes are characterized by the presence of a flagellum that connects to an undulating membrane along the length of the body. Amastigotes lack flagella (or cilia). Nevertheless, they are a common morphological form or developmental stage of trypanosomatids.

Amastigotes are also referred to as the Leishman-Donovan body, the Donovan body, or the leishmanial stage. It is because all Leishmania undergo an amastigote stage in their life cycle. The amastigote of Leishmania belongs to the smallest eukaryotic cells for being particularly small.


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