Can you please explain a "germ-line allele" to me! It is
very important for a research paper I am writing about breast cancer.
Mutations in genes are only able to be passed to the offspring if they are
found in gametes (egg, sperm) mutations that occur in body cells other than
gametes are usually not important because the cells can be replaced and they
die eventually. The only way a characteristic can be passed to the offspring
is through the eggs and sperm, so if there is a mutation in one these cells,
the offspring can inherit the mutation. So a germ-line cell is a gamete.
And a germ line allele is a version of the trait that is passed to the
offspring through the germ line cell (or gamete).
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Update: June 2012