Definition of totipotent in US English:

totipotent

adjective

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

    • ‘Thus, unlike totipotent single-cell embryos, pluripotent embryonic stem cells are specialized cells that have limited developmental capabilities.’
    • ‘For the first few divisions, up to at least the 8-cell stage, all the cells of the tiny embryo are totipotent stem cells.’
    • ‘Here, human or mouse embryonic stem cells, in vitro representatives of the totipotent inner cell mass blastomeres, are placed into culture.’
    • ‘In the early stages after fertilization - immediately after a sperm and egg join together and begin dividing - stem cells are considered totipotent.’
    • ‘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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

totipotent

/tōˈtipədənt/