Germ cell

The eggs and sperm are the germ cells: the reproductive cells. Each mature germ cell is haploid in that it has a single set of 23 chromosomes containing half the usual amount of DNA and half the usual number of genes. Except for the eggs and sperm, each cell in the human body — there are 100 trillion cells in each of us — contains the entire human genome, all the genetic information necessary to build a human being, and this information is encoded within the cell nucleus in 6 billion base pairs, subunits of DNA, packaged in 23 pairs of chromosomes, one chromosome in each pair coming from each parent. The germs cells — the eggs and sperm — are thus notable exceptions to the usual rules governing chromosomes, genes, and DNA.

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germ cell n an egg or sperm cell or one of their antecedent cells

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any of the embryonic cells that have the potential to develop into spermatozoa or ova. The term is also applied to any of the cells undergoing gametogenesis and to the gametes themselves.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Germ cell — Germ cells are progenitors of the gametes. These singled out cells move through the gut to the developing gonads and undergo mitotic proliferation followed by meiosis and differentiation into either eggs or sperm (mature gametes). Plants do not… …   Wikipedia

  • Germ cell — Germ Germ (j[ e]rm), n. [F. germe, fr. L. germen, germinis, sprout, but, germ. Cf. {Germen}, {Germane}.] 1. (Biol.) That which is to develop a new individual; as, the germ of a fetus, of a plant or flower, and the like; the earliest form under… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Germ cell — (Biol.) A cell, of either sex, directly concerned in the production of a new organism. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • germ cell — germ′ cell n. cbl a sexual reproductive cell at any stage from the primordial cell to the mature gamete • Etymology: 1850–55 …   From formal English to slang

  • germ cell — n. any of various cells, esp. an egg or sperm cell, from which a new organism can develop: opposed to SOMATIC CELL …   English World dictionary

  • germ cell — Cell specialized to produce haploidgametes. The germ cell line is often formed very early in embryonic development …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • germ cell — noun a spermatozoon or an ovum; a cell responsible for transmitting DNA to the next generation • Syn: ↑reproductive cell, ↑sex cell • Hypernyms: ↑cell • Hyponyms: ↑gamete • Part Holonyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • germ cell — gemalinė ląstelė statusas T sritis augalininkystė apibrėžtis Nespecializuota stiebo ir šaknų augimo kūgelių, kaliaus ląstelė arba ląstelė, sudaranti meristemas. atitikmenys: angl. germ cell rus. зародышевая клетка …   Žemės ūkio augalų selekcijos ir sėklininkystės terminų žodynas

  • germ cell — A member of a cell lineage (the germ line) leading to the production of gametes. In mammals, germ cells are found in the germinal epithelium of the ovaries and testes. Synonym: germ line cell Opposite: somatic cell …   Glossary of Biotechnology

  • germ cell — Synonyms and related words: act of love, adultery, animal cell, aphrodisia, ass, balling, bioplast, carnal knowledge, cell, cellular tissue, cellule, chromatoplasm, climax, coenocyte, cohabitation, coition, coitus, coitus interruptus, commerce,… …   Moby Thesaurus

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