The key difference between body cells and primary reproductive cells is that body cells are diploid somatic cells that make the tissues and organ systems of an organism while primary reproductive cells are haploid sex cells, mainly gametes (sperms and eggs), that are involved in sexual reproduction.
Cells are the basic structural unit of living organisms. Some organisms are unicellular, having only one cell. Most organisms are multicellular, having few to billions of cells. Moreover, there are different types of cells in a multicellular organism. Body cells and primary reproductive cells are two major categories of cells. Body cells are diploid cells that form the tissues and organs of an organism. In contrast, primary reproductive cells are haploid cells participating in sexual reproduction.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What are Body Cells
3. What are Primary Reproductive Cells
4. Similarities Between Body Cells and Primary Reproductive Cells
5. Side by Side Comparison – Body Cells vs Primary Reproductive Cells in Tabular Form
What are Body Cells?
Body cells, also known as somatic cells, are regular cells that form the tissues and organs of an organism. These cells are not related to the reproduction of the organism. Therefore, they are not germline cells. Body cells make up skin, hair, muscles, etc. In other words, all our internal organs such as skin, bones, liver, brain, blood and connective tissue, etc, are made up of somatic cells. Body cells have two sets of chromosomes received from mother and father. Hence, they are diploid in nature.
Moreover, somatic cells can differentiate into various cell types and carry out different functions in our body. Once they are differentiated into a specific cell type, they lose the ability to divide. Somatic cell formation occurs via mitosis. The human body consists of about 220 types of somatic cells. Mutations occurring in somatic cells may affect the individual, but they are not passed on to offspring.
What are Primary Reproductive Cells?
Primary reproductive cells are haploid cells produced during sexual reproduction. Basically, they are male and female gametes: sperms and eggs, respectively. Compared to body cells, there is only a little number of sex cells present in an organism. They are produced in special tissues of male testes and female ovaries. Their formation takes place from a diploid cell by meiosis. Hence, these sex cells contain only one set of chromosomes and are haploid cells.
During sexual reproduction, the male sex cell fuses with a female sex cell and produces a diploid cell called a zygote. The zygote is divided by mitosis and forms an organism. Likewise, the number of chromosomes in an organism is maintained over generations.
What are the Similarities Between Body Cells and Primary Reproductive Cells?
- Body cells and primary reproductive cells are living cells.
- They divide by cell division.
- They are eukaryotic cells containing a nucleus and membrane-bound organelles.
What is the Difference Between Body Cells and Primary Reproductive Cells?
Body cells are the cells that form tissues and organs of an organism. In contrast, primary reproductive cells are the sex cells or gametes that involve in sexual reproduction. So, this is the key difference between body cells and primary reproductive cells. Moreover, body cells are diploid in nature while primary reproductive cells are haploid in nature. Therefore, this is also a major difference between body cells and primary reproductive cells. Furthermore, body cell formation takes place via mitosis, while primary reproductive cell formation takes place via meiosis.
The below infographic summarizes the difference between body cells and primary reproductive cells.
Summary – Body Cells vs Primary Reproductive Cells
Body cells are not germline cells. They form the body of an organism. Therefore, muscle cells, bone cells, blood cells, nerve cells are some examples of body cells. Moreover, body cells are diploid since they have two sets of chromosomes. In contrast, primary reproductive cells are sex cells that involve in sexual reproduction. They are male and female gametes: sperms and eggs. Moreover, they are haploid in nature. Mutations of somatic cells affect the individual, but they do not pass to the next generation while mutations occurring in sex cells are passed into offspring and affect them. So, this is the summary of the difference between body cells and primary reproductive cells.
1. “Somatic Cells.” Biology Dictionary, 29 Apr. 2017, Available here.