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p. 485. Germ cells and sexlocked

  • Lewis Wolpert

Abstract

The outcome of germ-cell development in animals is either sperm or an egg. ‘Germ cells and sex’ describes the three key functions of germ cells: the preservation of the genetic integrity of the germline; the generation of genetic diversity; and the transmission of genetic information to the next generation. In all but the simplest animals, the cells of the germline are the only cells that can give rise to a new organism. The chromosomes and hormones required for sexual development in mammals and other animals are discussed and the male and female sexual organs of plants are also considered.

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