Undulating membrane

Definition

noun

A sinuous extension of the cytoplasmic membrane performing a vigorous, wavelike, and reversible movements


Supplement

Undulating membrane is found in the following organisms:

  • In some parasitic flagellates such as trypanosomes and trichomonads, undulating membrane is a fin-like extension usually associated with the flagellum. The presence of undulating membrane enhances motility of the parasite in a viscous fluid, such as blood. (Minchin 2003)
  • In some ciliates such as Tetrahymena, an undulating membrane is made up of a row of fused cilia and assumed to aid in capturing food. (Minchin 2003)
  • In spermatozoon of some animals such as some sarcopterygian fish and toads (Bufo marinus). ( Birkhead and others 2009)


Also called:

  • undulatory membrane

Reference(s):

  • Birkhead TR, Hosken, DJ, Pitnick, S. 2009. Sperm biology an evolutionary perspective. Amsterdam: Elsevier/Academic Press, p.112-113.
  • Minchin E. 2003. Protozoa microbiology & guide to microscopic identification. Palm Springs (CA): Wexford College Press, p. 55-56.

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