Somatic cell

any biological cell forming the body of a multicellular organism other than a gamete, germ cell, gametocyte or undifferentiated stem cell

All the cells in the body of an organism are somatic cells, except for the haploid gametes (sex cells like eggs and sperm) and other cells involved in reproduction.[1][2]

Somatic cells are usually diploid,[3] except where there is polyploidy. Either way, somatic cells have double the number of chromosomes that gametes in the same organism have. Somatic cells divide by mitosis and make identical copies of themselves, while gametes are made when germ cells divide by meiosis.[2]

In humans, somatic cells have 46 chromosomes.

References change

  1. Penguin (2004). "Somatic cell". Penguin Dictionary of Biology. Retrieved 19 November 2011. no
  2. 2.0 2.1 Macmillan Publishers Ltd (2003). "Cell". The Macmillan Encyclopedia. Retrieved 20 November 2011. no
  3. Cambridge University Press (2005). "Somatic cell". Cambridge Dictionary of Human Biology and Evolution. Retrieved 19 November 2011. no