Somatic Cells

In plants and animals cells are categorized into two types: somatic cells and germ cells or gametes. The word somatic is derived from a Greek word ‘soma’ which means body.  It is a cell in the body of multicellular organisms, other than germ cells or gametes. These are not the germline cells. Germline cells are sperm and ova. Sperms are produced by male and eggs are produced by the female. These are diploid cells so they contain two sets of chromosomes. Out of the two one is derived from the mother and one from the father.

Types

Stem cells produced as a result of mitosis give rise to somatic cells. They form all the internal and external organs of the body and are produced as a result of mitosis. They can be differentiated into muscle cells, brain cells, bone cells, neurons, nephrons, liver cells, skin cells, blood cells, and cardiac cells etc.

Somatic Cells and Evolution

Sometimes during the process of DNA replication, mutations can occur in somatic cells which can change its DNA, however, these mutations cannot pass from one generation to the next. Mutations in the stem cells can not lead to the evolution of the species.

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