Also found in: Dictionary, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
the sequence of cells in the line of direct descent from zygote to gametes, as opposed to somatic cells (all other body cells). Mutations in germline cells are transmitted to offspring; those in somatic cells are not.
Miller-Keane Encyclopedia and Dictionary of Medicine, Nursing, and Allied Health, Seventh Edition. © 2003 by Saunders, an imprint of Elsevier, Inc. All rights reserved.
1. The gamete-producing cells in a sexually reproducing organism, by means of which genetic material is passed on to subsequent generations.
2. The collection or sequence of such cells in an individual and all its descendants.
The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2007, 2004 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
germ line, germline
The cells from which the gametes (the ova and sperm) originate.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partners