Somatic Cells vs Gametes
The most important structures in the cell during division are the chromosomes, which contain DNA. This is because they are responsible for the transmission of the hereditary information from one generation to the next. Cells in the body are of two types depending on the number of chromosomes present in the nucleus. The two types are somatic cells and gametes.
What are Somatic Cells?
A somatic cell is any cell other than a germline cell found in the body of a multicellular organism. These are diploid cells having two sets of chromosomes; one is maternal and the other is paternal. When considering one homologous pair, one chromosome is inherited from the mother, and the other is inherited from the father. For an example, a human somatic cell contains 46 chromosomes arranged in to 23 pairs in which one chromosome of each pair is maternal, and the other is paternal. Stem cells produced by mitosis undergo differentiation and give rise to different types of somatic cells, which intern form almost all the internal and external structures of the body.
What are Gametes?
Unlike the somatic cells, gametes are haploid cells, which carry unpaired chromosomes. A gamete of a particular multicellular organism always carries only half the number of chromosomes carried by a somatic cell of that particular organism. For an example, a human gamete contains only 23 chromosomes where as a human somatic cell contains 46 chromosomes. Germ cells are the cells which give rise to gametes. Meiosis takes place during gametogenesis (process of gamete production) giving rise to haploid cells. Haploid gametes fuse during sexual reproduction giving rise to a diploid zygote.
What is the Difference between Somatic Cells and Gametes?
• Somatic cells are diploid cells, whereas the gametes are haploid cells.
• Stem cells give rise to somatic cells, and germ cells give rise to gametes.
• Meiosis does not take place during the production of somatic cells, whereas meiosis takes place during gametogenesis (production of gametes) giving rise to haploid cells.
• Somatic cells contain homologous pairs of chromosomes, whereas gametes contain only unpaired chromosomes.
• Somatic cells form internal and external structures of the body, whereas gametes do not.
• Somatic cells are found almost everywhere in the body, whereas gametes are restricted to certain parts.
• Somatic cells do not fuse during sexual reproduction, whereas gametes fuse during sexual reproduction giving rise to a diploid zygote.