Definition of totipotent in English:



  • (of an immature or stem cell) capable of giving rise to any cell type or (of a blastomere) a complete embryo.

    ‘totipotent embryo cells can differentiate into a hundred different cell types specialized to form such tissues as skin, marrow, and muscle’
    • ‘For the first few divisions, up to at least the 8-cell stage, all the cells of the tiny embryo are totipotent stem cells.’
    • ‘Thus, unlike totipotent single-cell embryos, pluripotent embryonic stem cells are specialized cells that have limited developmental capabilities.’
    • ‘In the early stages after fertilization - immediately after a sperm and egg join together and begin dividing - stem cells are considered totipotent.’
    • ‘Here, human or mouse embryonic stem cells, in vitro representatives of the totipotent inner cell mass blastomeres, are placed into culture.’
    • ‘What he showed next were a series of experiments in which they pushed cultured, totipotent mouse embryonic stem cells to desired neural fates using the various factors he had identified as significant in vivo.’


Early 20th century: from Latin totus ‘whole’ + potent.