Difference Between Animal And Plant Cell Chromosomes: Comparative Analysis on Structure, Function And Facts

Chromosomes are tiny hair-like structures that are located inside the nucleus region which carries the genetic material of the organism.

Difference between animal and plant cell chromosomes can be the number of chromosomes, genes, they type of cell division and genetic manipulation.

Characteristic featuresPlant cell ChromosomeAnimal cell chromosome
Number of chromosomePlant cell in general tend to have fewer number of chromosomesAnimal cells usually posses more number of chromosome due to their complexity.
GenesPlant cell majorly differ very much in their genes like plants require photosynthesis to survive so the presence of that specific gene is mandatoryAnimal cell have genes related to their own factor. So the presence of animal characteristic genes like locomotor genes will be seen in the animal cell chromosome.
Cell divisionIn plants, the cell division takes place by cell plate method in which the cell separates itself by building a wall between them.In animals, a physiological process called cytokinesis takes place
Genetic manipulationGenetic manipulation is easy in plants as their chromosome can be easily modifiedRecombinant technology or genetic manipulation is tedious in animal cell when compared to plant but still it is possible.
Difference Between Animal And Plant Cell Chromosomes
difference between animal and plant cell chromosomes
Structure of a chromosome
Image credits- Wikimedia

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The difference between animal and plant cell chromosomes can be classified based on few factors which will be discussed in this article. But the ultimate goal of the specific chromosome or to be more clear, any organelle will remain the same like the role of kidney in humans and animals remains the same.

Likewise, the ultimate role of the chromosomes remain the same so the difference between animal and plant cell chromosomes is much fewer yet matters a lot.

Do all plants and animal cells have the same amount of chromosomes?

Plants can prepare their own food where as animals can not, they same way plant and animal differences in their mechanisms.

So, no- not all plants and animal cells have the same amount of chromosomes. Each species of plant or animal will differ in their number of chromosomes.


The number of chromosomes present in rice is 24 chromosomes- 12 pairs  whereas in maize the number of chromosomes is 20 chromosomes- 10 pairs.

The number of chromosomes present in dogs are 78 chromosomes- 39 pairs whereas cats have 38 chromosomes- 19 pairs.

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Similarities between animal cell chromosomes and plant cell chromosomes:

The ultimate role or work of chromosomes remains the same even if they are present in animal cells or plant cells.

The ultimate role of a chromosome is to carry the genetic material intact with all the bound proteins, this remains the same in all the cells and the alignment is linear in both plant and animal cells.

Plant or animal cells do not have circular chromosomes. They show a linear form.

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Difference Between Animal And Plant Cell Chromosomes


  • If 2 different organisms in animals have 18 chromosomes, it is not necessary that they should have the same genes or even alleles present in them.
  • The 13th chromosome can be a protein that codes for enzyme F in one organism.
  • The other organism’s 13th chromosome can code for an enzyme ABC.
  • So these changes can happen even from one animal cell to another or plant cell to another.
  • It is not mandatory that it must have the same replicas even though they possess the same number of chromosomes in them.
Components of a chromosome
Image credits- Flickr

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Why do animal or plant cell chromosomes have histones in their chromosomes?

The differentiative morphology of chromosomes aid in keeping the DNA tightly wrapped or bound around the protein called histones. 

If this lacked such a kind of outer covering the DNA molecule will be left free and can not be placed intactly inside the cell. It is said that one chromosomal strand when left free is about 6 feet in length, in order to be held together they need to be bound inside proteins like histones.

Histones are proteins that present as layers on the DNA molecule in chromosomes that aid in keeping the DNA intact.

For an organism to rejuvenate and grow and even work in a correct manner, cells should undergo a cell division process to let out new cells or to even repair or replace old damaged cells

During the process of cell division, it is mandatory that the DNA remains intact and equally contributed among cells. Chromosomes are a vital part in this entire process as chromosomes make sure that the DNA is aptly replicated and evenly distributed.

Example of animal cell chromosome: Human chromosome

  • In humans, there are about 23 pairs of chromosomes so totally humans have 46 chromosomes.
  • Among these 23 pairs of chromosomes, 22 pairs are autosomes which resemble the same in both male and female.
  • The one pair is the sex chromosome which differs.
why chromosomes are in pairs
Image credits- Flickr
  • FemaleXX chromosome
  • MaleXY chromosome.
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