Is Chromosome A Cell: 9 Important Facts You Should Know

In this article we are focusing on the topic “Is Chromosome A Cell: 9 Facts You Should Know”, by enlisting the statements and facts supporting the statement if chromosome is a cell or not.

Chromosomes are basically DNA molecules; their structure resembles a coiled thread which are found to be located within the nucleus of all plants and animal cells. They contain the hereditary information which is passed from generation to generation in the form of DNA.

Chromosomes are essential components of cells formed of proteins and DNA (deoxyribonucleic acids) which are organized in a packed form forming genes and are the hereditary units of living organisms formed inside the nucleus. A chromosome is a packed form of a long and lengthy DNA which is coiled around a protein via weak electrostatic bonding, usually hydrogen bonds.

is chromosome a cell
Chromosome Structure Image from Wikipedia

Structure of chromosomes

Chromosomes are generally comprised of eight regions each having its own function in sustaining life. These include; Centromere, kinetochore, chromatids, chromatin, telomere, secondary constriction, chromomere, chromonema and matrix.

Kinetochore is the primary constriction that enables movement of chromosomes, chromatid is the half of the chromosome which are attached to each other by centromere, Chromatin is a DNA and protein complex that makes a chromosome, Telomere are the terminal ends of the chromosomes.

Assembly of chromosome Image from Wikipedia

Why chromosomes are not cells?

Chromosomes are not the cells they are located inside the cells within the nucleus and are not visible even under microscope without any primary exposure of stains. DNA is found in a tightly packed form wrapped around a protein called Histone which forms a chromosome.

Chromosomes can never be called as a cell as they are not capable of existing independently and they are just the carriers of genetic information that decides the fate of a cell.

Where are chromosomes located in cell?

Chromosomes are located within the nucleus of each cell in a packed form in both plants and animals. Nucleus is present in all the cells which is a home for chromosomes. Prokaryotes such as bacteria contains circular plasmid which is another form of chromosomes in the cytoplasm without any histone protein.

Since, prokaryotes does not contain a membrane bound nucleus circular chromosome is located near nucleoid.  

Are chromosomes found in every cell?

Yes, chromosomes are found almost in all the cells as tightly bound DNA around a protein within the nucleus, they carry genes with specific function and genetic information necessary to maintain life of a cell and the organism.

How many chromosomes are in a cell?

Each somatic cell that is non-reproductive cells carries 46 number of chromosomes, 23 from father (paternal gene) and another 23 from mother (maternal gene), for example; cells of muscles, tissues, etc. Variation in chromosome number can cause various syndromes in an infant or an adult.

Reproductive cell (gametes), sperm in males and ovum in females contains 23 number of chromosomes. With the fusion of male gamete with the female gamete a diploid cell is formed which contains 46 chromosomes as a result of the fusion of 23 chromosomes from both male and female.

Difference between chromosomes and cell

ChromosomeCellChromosomes are packed DNA materials present inside the nucleus.Cells are small biological units that makes up a whole living being.
Chromosomes are composed of long stretches of DNA and a proteinCells are composed of membrane bound organelles.
Chromosomes contain hereditary instructions to maintain the life of an organism.Cells perform specific function in body such as, red blood cells, epithelial cells, etc.
The function of chromosomes is to pack the long DNA and unfold it in order to perform replication for DNA multiplication.Cells undergo overall division at the end of cell cycle.
Chromosomes are not capable of independent existence or even outside the cell.Cells are capable of independent existence.
Difference between Chromosome and Cell

Relation between chromosomes and cell

Cells are small compartments consisting of semi-permeable membrane, these are small units of life that makes up an entire individual, without cells no life would be possible. Chromosomes are present inside the cells located within the nucleus of each cell in plants and animals and located in the cytoplasm in prokaryotes.

Chromosomes are composed of genes and the information of an individual genetic and physiological makeup. Cells divide and continue to maintain the life of an organism  whereas the necessary information of an individual’s genome and physical appearance is encoded within the DNA that is harbored by the chromosomes.

Are chromosomes containing molecules?

Yes, chromosomes contain a DNA and Protein molecules, DNA being the negatively charged is wrapped around a positively charged protein called histone like a thread. Chromosomes vary in their numbers as well as the shape in different species.

All eukaryotes such as plants and animals contain liner chromosomes whereas the bacteria which comes under prokaryotes contain one or sometimes two circular chromosomes.  

What are the functions of chromosomes in cell?  

Chromosomes are essential to maintain the life of an organism, they are composed of the genes which are formed of different DNA base pairs and carry necessary information which gives rise to the shape, structure, character and determines the gender of the organism.

The right number of chromosome segregation is very significant, any disturbance in this phenomenon can cause various anomalies, for examples if an infant carries 47 (XYY) number of chromosomes it is going to suffer from Down syndrome, Edward syndrome and Patau syndrome.


To conclude the article, we can say that chromosome is an essential part to maintain the cell life as well as the evolution and any mutation and changes in the structure will definitely be lethal to the life of an organism or it could be of significance as well.

Sneha Sah

Hey! I am Sneha Sah, I have completed post graduation in Biotechnology. Science has always been fascinating to me and writing is my passion. As an academic writer my aim is to make Science easy and simple to learn and read. Reach me at-

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