Difference Between Germ Cells and Somatic Cells


Main Difference

The main difference between Germ cells and Somatic Cells is that germ cells create the reproductive cells of a new individual by half the number of chromosomes of a somatic cell. Somatic cells are a regular type of cells of a living organism other than the reproductive cells (germ cells).

Germ Cells vs. Somatic Cells

Germ cells refer to a living cell that gives rise to the gametes of an organism whereas somatic cells are any biological cell develop in the body of an organism; that is, undifferentiated stem cell or gametocyte in a multicellular organism. Somatic cells are also known as vegetal cells. In many animals, the germ cells initiate in the primeval line and migrate to the developing gonads via the gut of an embryo. In mammals, somatic cells make up all the internal organs, bones, skin, connective tissue, and blood. In mammalian, germ cells give rise to ova and spermatozoa which fuse and produce a cell called a zygote during fertilization, which differentiates into the cells of an embryo. In germ cells when a mutation occurs it transfer to the next generation by sexual generation. About 220 types of somatic cells in the human body are present, and they never transmit to their progenies since they are not involved in sexual reproduction. Germ cells are the only cells that can undergo meiosis as well as mitosis during sexual reproduction and produce haploid gametes. Somatic cells only divide by mitosis during asexual reproduction that forms the building blocks of all the other cells of the body of animals.


Comparison Chart

Germ CellsSomatic Cells
An embryonic cell with the potential of developing into a gamete.All cells of a body other than the germ cells.
One set of chromosomes.Two sets of chromosomes.
Cannot be differentiated.Can be differentiated into various type of body cells.
Present only in the reproductive system.Present in every part of the body.
it has transferred to the offspring.Not carried to offspring.
mainly sexual reproduction.asexual reproduction.
Very few in numbers/figures.Present in the majority of body cells.
Sperm and egg cells.Muscles cell, stomach cells, nerve cells

What are Germ Cells?

Germ cells are a cell that gives rise to gametes and refers to one set of the chromosome into the daughter cells and can transfer genetic information to next generations as they are the link between generations as sometimes said to be immortal. Germ cells are the only cells in which both meioses, as well as mitosis, occur. The heredity of germ cells is called germ line. Germ cell arrangement begins in the epiblast during cleavage in many animals and gastrulation in mammals and birds. Sometimes mutation occurs for example Germ cell tumor is rare cancer that can affect people at all ages mainly children and it counts for 4% of all cancers cases. Germ cells are cells that can reproduce and produce gametes through sexual reproduction in living organisms germ cells in a living organism such as animals transfer and travel to the gonads as came from the embryo’s gut. Germ cells can explain how we can evolve and vital in the perception of reproduction in organisms such as in humans.



Sperms cells of male and egg cells of the female.

What are Somatic Cells?

The regular cell of the body other than sperm and gamete is called somatic cells. Somatic cells are only divided by mitosis and contain all the cells other than germ cells and form the building blocks of the body. Typically, somatic cells are produced by mitosis in asexual reproduction in humans and are diploid as two sets of homologous chromosomes are present in the nucleus of a human. Some species may consist of polyploid or diploid somatic cells. The polyploid somatic cells are generally present in plants. In humans, continuous mitotic cell divisions occur into the multicellular organism, and the fusion of a sperm cell forms the diploid zygote. The human body contains more than three trillion somatic cells. These somatic cells are distributing into four major types of tissues in the body known as connective tissue, epithelial tissue, nerve tissue, and muscles tissues. Tissues form organs and organs form organ systems. Mutations occur in somatic cells since they play no role in sexual reproduction as they cannot contribute to evolution. Cloning is used to produce the same genetic clones of animals. In the somatic cell, the nucleus is removed from the cell and injected into an ovum of another individual of the same species. The genetic material of the animal has removed before the injection of the somatic cell in the nucleus. Somatic cells can tell us how we can have bones, organ, and tissues since these types of cells are responsible for the structures of the body.


Present in bones, skin muscle and nerve cells.

Key Differences

  1. Germ cells refer to embryonic cells with the potential to develop into gametes while somatic cells are any cells of the body other than germ cells.
  2. Germ cells contain only contain one set of chromosomes whereas somatic cell has a two set of chromosomes.
  3. Germ cells came through the embryo’s gut then somatic cells as they can be present in bones, blood, skin, connective tissue, and internal organs.
  4. Germ cells develop through meiosis. Conversely, somatic cells develop through the process of mitosis and meiosis.
  5. Germs cells cannot b differentiated but somatic can be differentiated.
  6. Germ cells are present only in the reproductive system on the contrary somatic cells are Present in every part of the body.
  7. Germs cells Present very few while somatic cells are present in the majority of body cells.
  8. Germ cells carried the mutation to the next generation whereas mutation in somatic cells cannot transfer to the next
  9. Germ cells are present in sperm, and egg cells on the flip side somatic cells are present in muscles, bones tissues and nerve cells.


From the above discussion, it concludes that Germ cell is an embryonic cell with the potential of developing into a gamete and somatic cells are the cell of the body other than germ cells and divide by mitosis. Both cells are contributing to making the multicellular organism.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White