Difference Between Centrosome and Centrioles Explained

Centrosome and centrioles are both organelles in the cell but they are there for different reasons. The main Difference between Centrosome and Centrioles is that centrosome is a whole complex which has two centrioles. They are present at right angles to each other and are involved in the development of spindle fibers in the cell. They are close to the nucleus, in the cytoplasm and are important for cell division.

Centrioles: Definition and Functions.

The centriole is cylindrical in shape and is made up of tubulin protein. They are found in eukaryotic cells and are present in pair. This pair of centrioles is surrounded by pericentriolar material which is a dense mass.

Collectively, both these structures form the spindle fiber making complex called the centrosome. In animals, centrioles are present but they are not found in conifers or flowering plants. They are also not found in fungi and in some plants, they are only found in the males.

Centrioles consist of nine sets of microtubule triplets. These are arranged in a cylinder and in some species, doublets of these microtubules are also present. During interphase, centrioles produce cilia and spindles.  

The mitotic spindle is organized by centrioles and they help to complete cytokinesis. During cell division, centrioles also self-replicate. Centrioles are also very important in sperm cells.

They form the flagellum so that the sperm can swim to the egg and also helps in the development of the embryo. Before the DNA replicates, cells have two centrioles. The older one has termed mother centrioles while the younger one is called daughter centrioles. They self-replicate during cell division and the duplicates move to the proximal ends.

Centrosomes: Definition and Functions.

Centrosomes are complexes that have two centrioles. They are surrounded by pericentriolar material which is a dense mass of protein. This complex is important for microtubule nucleation. During prophase, this complex is close to the nuclear membrane and during mitosis, the membrane breaks up and centrosomes aid in the interaction of chromosomes to the mitotic spindle.

One of the centriole pairs is the mother centriole which forms the cilia and flagella. During cell division, centrosome replicates only once so the product daughter cells have one centrosome each.

The Difference between Centrosome and Centrioles is that centrosomes are the whole complex containing a pair of centrioles and dense mass of protein. On the other hand, centrioles exist in pairs in this complex and replicate during cell division.

During cell division, chromosomes move in the cell and attach to the mitotic spindle. The chromosomes are held in place with the help of mitotic spindle.  

Summary of Difference between Centrosome and Centrioles:

  • Centrioles and centrosomes are both essential for cell division to take place smoothly.
  • Cell division can take place even without centrioles as has been seen in several studies where centrioles were removed.
  • However, cells without centrioles lack proper spatial localization during cytokinesis.
  • The Difference between Centrosome and Centrioles is that one is the whole complex while other is part of the complex.
  • The main function of this complex is to increase the efficacy of cell division.

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