From ZooTerms (Dictionary of Invertebrate Zoology)
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gemmule (noun; Latin gemma, bud): 1. A bud-like outgrowth that becomes an independent individual. 2. (Porifera) Composed of a mass of archaeocytes charged with reserves and enclosed in a non-cellular protective envelope.

2. Historically a particle of heredity, hypothesized by Darwin, carried in the cells and able to move to the sex cells that allowed environment to influence inheritance directly.