1. A small gemma or similar structure, especially a reproductive structure in certain sponges that remains dormant for some time and later develops into a new individual.
2. A hypothetical particle in the theory of pangenesis, postulated to be produced by cells and to be responsible for transmitting traits from parent to offspring.
[French, from Latin gemmula, diminutive of gemma, bud; see gembh- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
gem′mu·lifer·ous (jĕm′y-lĭfər-əs) adj.
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