Atlas of plant and animal histology

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Glossary: B


Basal cell: (in taste buds) it is a type of cell found in the basal part of taste buds. Basal cells are located peripheral and near the basal lamina of taste buds, and they are supposed to be adult stem cells for renewing the other two types of taste bud cells: sensory cells and support cells.

♣ Animal organs: Senses.

Basophil: It is a type of granular leukocyte found in the blood. Basophils contain one nucleus with 2 or 3 lobes. The nuclear lobes are closer to one another than those of eosinophils and neutrophils. Heterochromatin is abundant in the nucleus. There are many azurophilic granules in the cytoplasm stained with acidophilic dyes, so they get a bluish-purple color. In humans, basophils are smaller than eosinophils. The main function of basophils is to protect against pathogens because they can carry out phagocytosis. They can quite the blood stream and move through tissues. Basophils are the less abundant type of leukocyte in the blood.

 ♣ Animal tissues: Blood tissue, Blood cells .

Berry: it is a type of fleshy fruit that may be formed by a cutinized exocarp and a fleshy mesocarp and endocarp. For example, tomato and watermelon.

 ♣ Plant organs: Fruit.

Beta cell: it is a type of cell found in the Langerhans islets of the pancreas. Beta cells release the insulin hormone, which regulates the concentration of glucose in the blood.

♣ Animal tissues: Pancreas.

Bone canaliculi : they are ducts of the bone tissue that communicate neighbor bone lacunae, where osteocytes are found. Cellular extensions of osteocytes run inside these canaliculi that allow direct cell-cell communication.

♣ Animal tissues: Bone tissue, Compact bone .

Bowman's gland: it is a type of gland found in the olfactory epithelium that releases mucous substances that cover the olfactory epithelium.

♣ Animal organs: Senses.

Bractea: modified leave associated to the basal part of the flower.

♣ Plant organs: Leaf.

Brown fat: it is a type of adipose tissue made up of multilocular adipocytes (brown adipocytes), which contain many small lipid droplets in the cytoplasm. The brown color is a consequence of the high number of mitochondria in the adipocytes and blood irrigation. The main function of brown fat is to produce heat. Brown fat is most abundant during fetal and perinatal periods in mammals, but it is scarce in adults.

Bulliform cell: it is a type of cell found in the leaves of some plants like monocot species. Bulliform cells are large epidermal cells that can modify their size by turgor pressure and then change the folding and unfolding of leaves depending on the environmental water availability.

♣ Plant tissues: Protection.
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