Difference Between Chromatin And Chromosomes

People have access to microscopic organisms that allow them to know life at a cellular level, which greatly favors studies in the health sciences, from something so elementary for life, such as DNA, so it is always interesting to discover its dynamics and the elements which make it up, such as the chromosome and chromatin. The major difference between chromatin and chromosomes is that chromatin is a dynamic structure that participates in the compaction process of the chromosome. On the other hand, the chromosome is the structure that already occured within the cell that contains genetic information about a living being. Let us have a look at some of the main differences between chromatin and chromosomes.

Difference Between Chromatin And Chromosomes In Tabular Form



Made up of DNA, histones, and non-histone proteins. Made up of DNA and protein.
Contains aniline. Does not contain aniline.
The major function of chromatin is in charge of shaping the chromosomes. The major function of chromosomes is in charge of transporting DNA.
There are only 2 types of chromatins:

  • Euchromatin
  • Heterochromatin.
There are 23 chromosome pairs for a total of 46.
Composed of nucleosomes Condensed chromatin fibers
Unpaired. Paired
Structure: Thin, long, and uncoiled. Structure: Thick, compact, and ribbon.

Chromatin Vs. Chromosomes – Overview

We know that DNA is a molecule found in most cells, that contains the genetic information of each individual, that is, the code that determines the qualities or characteristics of people. Additionally, the DNA molecule has a major function for transmitting these genes or genetic information from a person to their descendants. Each DNA molecule contains a helix shape that consists of Adenine, Thymine, Cytosine, and Guanine (ATCG). DNA structure becomes increasingly complex from the pairs of nucleotides that form histones, nucleosomes, and the chromatids that, in turn, they form the chromosomes. Chromatin is a substance that forms the chromosomal material during interphase and is made up of DNA bound to proteins and the latter that is located in the nucleus of the cell is chromatin.

What Is Chromatin?

It is a genetic material that is found in a eukaryotic cell during interphase before cell division. Chromatin is made up of double-stranded DNA. It also contains proteins rich in amino acids i.e. arginine and lysine. It is a material that helps the formation of chromosomes and is composed of DNA, RNA (Ribo Nucleic Acid) and Proteins, found in the nucleus of each cell representing approximately two meters of DNA molecule of compact shape. The compaction of DNA is the main function of chromatin. This material represents the genome of eukaryotic cells and is responsible for protecting the genetic material of each person and adapts to improve the processes of DNA replication, transcription, and repair.

Chromatin Function:

The main function of chromatin are listed below:

  • To compress the DNA into a compact unit.
  • Organize DNA into structures that are known as nucleosomes by providing a base on which the DNA can be wrapped around.
  • Chromatin makes it possible for many cell processes to occur including DNA replication, transcription, DNA repair, genetic recombination, and cell division.

What are Chromosomes?

Chromosomes are small structures present in the nucleus of cells. They are responsible for transporting DNA fragments and, in turn, contain proteins that contribute to the maintenance of DNA properly. Chromosomes are arranged in pairs, where each cell has 23 pairs of chromosomes, of which half are provided by the mother and the other half by the father. Female has two X chromosomes and men an X and a Y chromosome, the latter being the one that determines the sex of the person. In human eukaryotic cells, chromosomes are defined to sex (Y for male and X for female). They are compacted together and thus composed of 23 XY pairs, for a total of 46 chromosomes. Therefore, these are present in eukaryotic cells, responsible for guiding genetic and hereditary material during sexual reproduction.

Read Also in Detail: Chromosome Structure and Function

During cell division, they are compressed together with the DNA molecule. The RNA and protein forms chromatid. Each pair of chromosomes forms two chromatids that separate to give way to two independent chromosomes at the end of mitosis. Its structure consists of a long arm region and a short arm region connected at a central region known as a centromere. Duplicated chromosomes have the familiar X-shape and are composed of identical sister chromatids.

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