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​Germ Line

updated: April 19, 2024


Germ line refers to the sex cells (eggs and sperm) that sexually reproducing organisms use to pass on their genomes from one generation to the next (parents to offspring). Egg and sperm cells are called germ cells, in contrast to the other cells of the body, which are called somatic cells.

 Germ Line


Germ line. Some organisms reproduce sexually and need special sex cells named germ cells to pass their genomes from parents to offspring. Germ cells are known as egg cells in females and sperm cells in males. And together, they make up the germ lines of the organism. Germ lines are the link between generations.

Belen Hurle
Belen Hurle, Ph.D.

Former Associate Investigator

Division of Intramural Research