- germ-plasm theory
Concept of the physical basis of heredity expressed by the biologist August Weismann (1834–1914).It claimed that germ plasm, which Weismann believed to be independent from all other cells of the body, was the essential element of germ cells (eggs and sperm) and was the hereditary material passed from generation to generation. First proposed in 1883, his view contradicted Lamarck's then-prevalent theory of acquired characteristics. Though its details have been altered, its idea of the stability of hereditary material is the basis of the modern understanding of physical inheritance.
* * *▪ biologyconcept of the physical basis of heredity expressed by the 19th-century biologist August Weismann (Weismann, August (Friedrich Leopold)) (q.v.). According to his theory, germ plasm, which is independent from all other cells of the body (somatoplasm), is the essential element of germ cells (eggs and sperm) and is the hereditary material that is passed from generation to generation. Weismann first proposed this theory in 1883; it was later published in his treatise Das Keimplasma (1892; The Germ-Plasm: A Theory of Heredity). This view contradicted Lamarck's theory of acquired characteristics, which was a prevalent theory of heredity of the time. Although the details of the germ-plasm theory have been modified, its premise of the continuity of hereditary material is the basis of the modern understanding of the process of physical inheritance.
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Weismann's germ plasm theory — The theory that organisms maintain genetic continuity from organism to offspring through the germ line cells (germ plasm) and that the other (somatic) cells play no part in the transmission of heritable factors … Dictionary of molecular biology
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Heredity — • The offspring tends to resemble, sometimes with extraordinary closeness, the parents Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Heredity Heredity … Catholic encyclopedia