Dictionary > Merozoite

Merozoite

Definition
noun, plural: merozoites
A cell formed during the asexual division of the schizont; a stage in the life cycle of certain Apicomplexans producing such cells
Supplement
Apicomplexa is a phylum comprised of protozoans characterized by having a special organelle called an apical complex, and most of them are single-celled, parasitic, and spore-forming. They are intracellular parasites. Their life cycle is comprised of stages where each has a particular cellular variety. Nevertheless, not all members have all the various life stages. An example is the Plasmodium species causing malaria in humans. Plasmodium species use two hosts (human and Anopheles mosquito) to complete its complex life cycle. In human host, the sporozoites injected by the mosquito during a blood meal are circulated by the bloodstream. When they reach the liver cells of the human host they transform into a trophozoite, losing its apical complex and surface coat. They particularly invade the vacuole of the hepatocyte where they will go through schizogonic development. Their nucleus will undergo multiple divisions while their cell size increases. They develop and differentiate into merozoites. These merozoites are released from the hepatocytes and enter the bloodstream. They, then, invade the red blood cells to initiate the erythrocytic stage. Merozoites at this point have their apical coplex, pellicle and surface coat for use in invading red blood cell. In the erythrocytic stage, the merozoites may give rise to either trophozoites or gametocytes.
Word origin: Greek meros (part of a series)+ zoon (animal)
See also:


You will also like...

Kidneys
Kidneys and Regulation of Water and Inorganic Ions

The kidneys are responsible for the regulation of water and inorganic ions. Read this tutorial to learn about the differ..

Early Earth
The Origins of Life

This tutorial digs into the past to investigate the origins of life. The section is split into geological periods in the..

Circulation
Circulation

The circulatory system is key to the transport of vital biomolecules and nutrients throughout the body. Learn about the ..

Ecological Research Measuring & Analysis
Ecological Research: Measuring & Analysis

This lesson is about the methods used for ecological research, such as quadrat and transect sampling, canopy fogging, an..

Flowers and tiny fruits of the pomegranate plant
Fruits, Flowers, and Seeds

This tutorial deals with the structure and function of flowers, fruits, and seeds. Also included here are the types of f..

Still Water Animals
Still Water Animals

Animals living in aquatic habitats have diversified and evolved through time. They eventually occupy ecological niches a..