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Cnidocyte

Explosive cell containing one giant secretory organelle (cnida) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A cnidocyte (also known as a cnidoblast or nematocyte) is an explosive cell containing one large secretory organelle called a cnidocyst (also known as a cnida (pl. cnidae) or nematocyst) that can deliver a sting to other organisms. The presence of this cell defines the phylum Cnidaria (corals, sea anemones, hydrae, jellyfish, etc.). Cnidae are used to capture prey and as a defense against predators. A cnidocyte fires a structure that contains a toxin within the cnidocyst; this is responsible for the stings delivered by a cnidarian.

Nomarski micrograph of a ruthenium red-stained nematocyst from Aiptasia pallida, the pale anemone. The red dye stains the polyanionic venom proteins found inside the capsule of this partially-discharged nematocyst.