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gemmule (plural gemmules)

  1. (biology) A small gemma or bud of dormant embryonic cells produced by some freshwater sponges
    1978 Patricia R. Bergquist, "Sponges"
    The actual formation of gemmules by fresh-water sponges is so clearly an adaptation to seasonal climatic changes, that at first it was reasonable to believe that seasonal alternation itself induced the gemmulation.
  2. (obsolete) A hypothetical particle once thought to be the basis of heredity according to pangenesis theory

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