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Germ. (a) In cereals, the embryo that represents the rudimentary plant and forms part of the seed or kernel (q.v.). It normally contains high levels of protein (q.v.), fat (q.v.), vitamins (q.v.) and ash (q.v.), and generates high enzymatic (q.v.) activity during germination (q.v.). (b) A microbial organism, especially one that is pathogenic or disease-producing.