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I'm currently reading some introductory chapters about genetics (in Campbell's book, chapter 13) and I realized that I don't really understand what is the difference between the germ line and the germ cells.

From what I read so far, I understand that germ cells are specialized cells from which gametes are produced, and I suppose that the germ line is the "set" of all germ cells + gametes, but for some reason I couldn't find a good definition of what the germ line is and I was not satisfied with what I found in books and on the internet (because it was not as clear as I thought it could be)...

So, even if I'm ashamed to ask... Could someone explain to me the difference between those two concepts? Thanks in advance!

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Germ cells are the cells of germline. Germline is a lineage of germ cells from germline stem cells to gametes. Cells that do not belong to germline are called somatic cells.

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  • $\begingroup$ ...and somatic cells form the soma (which should maybe be called somatic line instead for clarity). +1 $\endgroup$ – Remi.b Dec 12 '17 at 1:25

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