In TF1 we are introduced to the Allspark an object able to breath life to machines.It emits an energy that we later learn as Energon. Optimus and company describe themselves as Autonomous Robotic Organisms. We are also introduced that these Transformers have something called a Spark. Come ROTF we are introduced to family relations and the hatchlings. The Seven Primes being the ancestors of Optimus, who are brothers and are also referred as his brothers by the Fallen in a familial sense. Mudflap and Skids being Twin brothers. The Arcee sisters have the same personality. We also learn Transformers live with Energon their life blood so to speak as said by Jetfire. Without it they age and die. What is the difference between an Allsparked appliance and a Cybertronian like Optimus or Megatron? Optimus, Megatron and others of their kind have Sparks. Which we see clearly with Jetfire and the Fallen we see Sparks as Energon organs. So how do they procreate and these "genetic" familial relations work? The DOTM novelization gives an intriguing way for Hatclings to be kept alive. Megatron feeds them his own Energon. Lets say Sparks are artificially created. To give life to a protoform Hatchling these are granted lifeless Sparks. It comes to life as a Transformer parent gives his own Spark Energon for the Hatchling to be born. This is essentially similar to the Allspark giving a lifeless machine life. The process I described explains how Transformers can have familial relations. Brothers for Primes and Twins, sisters for Arcee, father and mother for Jetfire. That also explains how Optimus and Sentinel are Royal Blue Bloods of the Autobots. Being direct descendants through Spark Energon passed down from one generation to the next.