germ line

noun
variants: or germline \ ˈjərm-​ˌlīn How to pronounce germ line (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, 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, 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, 4 Mar. 2015 The germ line cells could later be thawed and used in natural and captive breeding programs. Rebecca Albright, Scientific American, 1 Jan. 2018 Either way, Graham’s politicking altered the germ line of American Christianity. Sarah Jones, New Republic, 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.

First Known Use of germ line

1916, 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 1916

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Dictionary Entries Near germ line

germless

germ line

germling

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Cite this Entry

“Germ line.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/germ%20line. Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for germ line

germ line

noun
variants: or germline \ ˈjərm-​ˌlīn How to pronounce germ line (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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