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The Collaborative International Dictionary

cytostome \cytostome\ n. The mouth of a protozoan.


n. (context microbiology English) A cellular organelle found only in certain protozoa; it is specialized for phagocytosis, and usually has the form of a microtubule-supported funnel or groove.


n. mouth of a protozoan


A cytostome (from cyto-, cell and stome-, mouth) or cell mouth is a part of a cell specialized for phagocytosis, usually in the form of a microtubule-supported funnel or groove. Food is directed into the cytostome, and sealed into vacuoles. Only certain groups of protozoa, such as the ciliates and excavates, have cytostomes. An example is Balantidium coli, a ciliate. In other protozoa, and in cells from multicellular organisms, phagocytosis takes place at any point on the cell or feeding takes place by absorption.