Latin term for basal cell layer of epidermis, the innermost layer composed of basal cells that lies at the base of the epidermis or above the dermis.
The cells of this layer are actively dividing to provide new cells to replenish lost skin from normal shedding. This layer has many melanocytes, or melanin-producing cells that account for the pigmentation of skin and hair.
Synonyms: basal cell layer, stratum basale, stratum cylindricum, stratum germinativum.
Compare: stratum corneum, stratum lucidum, stratum granulosum, stratum spinosum.
See also: epidermis, Malpighian layer.