germ line

noun
variants: or germline \ ˈjərm-​ˌlīn How to pronounce germline (audio) \

Definition of germ line

: the cellular lineage of a sexually-reproducing organism from which eggs and sperm are derived also : the genetic material contained in this cellular lineage which can be passed to the next generation

Examples of germ line in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web An international summit on genome editing in 2015 resulted in a report laying out some of the conditions under which editing the human germ line for clinical purposes might one day be allowable. Tanya Lewis, Scientific American, "Scientists Seek Better Guidelines for Editing Genes in Human Embryos," 15 Aug. 2019 The survivors made it into the germ line, so the within-lifetime innovations were passed on to subsequent flowers and pollen. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "Meet the monkeyflower, a weed that may hold the key to zebra stripes and other biological mysteries," 29 Aug. 2019 Researchers have found KoRV DNA in koala sperm, confirming that the virus has indeed taken root in the germ line. Quanta Magazine, "Killer Virus Is Invading Koala DNA," 4 Mar. 2015 The germ line cells could later be thawed and used in natural and captive breeding programs. Rebecca Albright, Scientific American, "Scientists Are Taking Extreme Steps to Help Corals Survive," 1 Jan. 2018 Either way, Graham’s politicking altered the germ line of American Christianity. Sarah Jones, New Republic, "Billy Graham’s Circus Left Him Behind," 22 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'germ line.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of germ line

1925, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for germ line

Time Traveler

The first known use of germ line was in 1925

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Cite this Entry

“Germ line.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/germ%20line. Accessed 29 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for germ line

germ line

noun
variants: or germline \ ˈjərm-​ˌlīn How to pronounce germline (audio) \

Medical Definition of germ line

: the cellular lineage especially of a sexually reproducing organism from which eggs and sperm are derived and in which a cell undergoing mutation can be passed to the next generation … the difference between gene therapy of somatic cells and modification of the germ line— David Baltimore also : the genetic material contained in this cellular lineage which can be passed to the next generation

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