∞ generated and posted on 2016.08.27 ∞
Those cells in multicellular organisms that are responsible for almost all functions but not including those cell lineages that directly and exclusively lead to the sexually reproductive initiation of progeny.
Short for somatic or somatic cells, soma makes up your legs, your arms, your digestive system, your head, your brain, indeed every aspect of your body is soma except for the cells that give rise to eggs or sperm. Contrast with germline cells.
The utility of differentiating cells into soma versus germline is that it allows as specialization of functions, where soma is specialized for keeping germline cells alive and functioning.