Cuticle

Definition

noun

The outermost, noncellular, protective covering of certain organisms


Supplement

The cuticle refers to the various forms of the outermost covering of organisms. In humans, the cuticle is the outermost layer of the skin epidermis and is comprised of keratinocytes. In some animals, such as the invertebrates, the cuticle is the superficial layer that covers the epidermis. For example, the arthropods' cuticle is the outermost covering above the epidermis and that which forms the exoskeleton. In plants, the cuticle is the waxy covering on the surface of many of plant organs, e.g. leaves and young shoots. In plants, this waxy, hydrophobic covering protects the plant by minimizing water loss and curbing pathogen entry.


Also called:

  • cuticula

Related term(s):


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