scutellum

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scu·tel·lum / sk(y)oōˈteləm/ • n. (pl. -tel·la / -ˈtelə/ ) Bot. & Zool. a small shieldlike structure, in particular: ∎  a modified cotyledon in the embryo of a grass seed. ∎  the third dorsal sclerite in each thoracic segment of an insect. DERIVATIVES: scu·tel·lar / -ˈtelər/ adj.

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scutellum The most posterior of the three dorsal sclerites that are found on the mesothorax and metathorax of many winged insects.

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scutellum In the fruit of grasses, an organ lying between the embryo and endosperm. During germination, the scutellum secretes enzymes involved in the digestion of endosperm.

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scutellum The tissue in a grass seed that lies between the embryo and the endosperm. It is the modified cotyledon of grasses, being specialized for the digestion and absorption of the endosperm.

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scutellum Area surrounding the embryo of the cereal grain; scutellum plus embryo is the germ; rich in vitamins.