Difference Between Chromosomes and Chromatin Explained

The main Difference between Chromosomes and Chromatin is that chromatin is uncondensed in nature while chromosomes are condensed and compact in the cell. In resting stages, chromatic is present in the nucleus. Chromatic condenses and forms chromosome during Prophase. Then, these chromosomes undergo cell division and daughter cells are formed.

The chromatic complex is made up of DNA strand and histone proteins while the chromosomes is a condensed structure that carried genetic information on its arms. Another Difference between Chromosomes and Chromatin is that chromatic is just a mass of gens with histones while chromosomes are fully arranged and compact structures.

Chromatin: Definition and Function.

Chromatin is present in a eukaryotic cell as a complex of histone proteins and DNA. The role of this complex is to contain the long DNA strand within the cell easily. The denser shape prevents the DNA from getting tangles. Chromatic also prevents DNA damage and has a role to play in the regulation of gene expression.

Histone proteins act as anchors to which the DNA strand is attached. A bead on string structure is formed where DNA is wrapped around the histone proteins. The structure that is formed is called nucleosome.

The chromatin differs in different organism. In Trypanosoma, the chromatin does not undergo condensation to form chromosomes. Red blood cells of birds and sperm cells in general have tightly packed chromatin as compared to other cells. There are two regions in this complex; chromatin is the portion that contains active genes and undergoes while heterochromatin is the region with inactive genes.

Chromosome: Definition and Function.

On the other hand, a chromosome is a compact structure and genes are present on the arms. A chromosome has four arms or two sister chromatids joined together at the centromere. This is a higher order DNA organization and the condensation is so intense that DNA coils 10,000 times on itself to form the structure.

Another Difference between Chromosomes and Chromatin is that chromatin is not visible during cell division while chromosomes are. Chromatin is not paired since it is just a mass of nucleosomes in the bead on string fashion. On the contrary, chromosomes are paired. They are ribbon-like and can be visualized under a light microscope.

Chromosome can have different shapes such as metacentric, telocentric, acrocentric and submetacentric. They also have a specific position in the nucleus. Chromosomes undergo cell division and they also exchange genetic material in Meiosis 2.

Through karyotyping, geneticists have found out the position of different genes on different chromosomes and this information is used in gene therapy. Karyotyping is the mapping of chromosomes. In this process, all the chromosomes pairs in an organism are mapped. Their position, shape, and size can be seen in a karyotype.

Summary of Difference between Chromosomes and Chromatin:

  • The Difference between Chromosomes and Chromatin is that chromatin is uncondensed and unpaired while chromosomes are paired and condensed.
  • Both of them are basically the same thing with chromosome being a higher level organization while chromatin is a lower level organization with histone proteins.
  • Genes are present on chromosomes.

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