Definition of germ line in US English:

germ line


  • A series of germ cells each descended or developed from earlier cells in the series, regarded as continuing through successive generations of an organism.

    • ‘In all but the simplest animals, the cells of the germ line are the only cells that can give rise to a new organism.’
    • ‘Transgenesis refers to the process of introducing exogenous genes into the germ line of an organism.’
    • ‘The figures trace the development of the progenitor cell of the germ line and of the subsequent formation of gametes within a single organism.’
    • ‘We might alter the germ line of the present generation, only to cripple the human capacity to adapt to those challenges in the future.’
    • ‘Most animal cells, including the cells of the germ line, have two copies of each chromosome: one from the animal's mother, the other from the father.’