Difference between Haploid and Diploid Cells

Updated on July 24, 2018

In microbiology, the terms “haploid” and “diploid” are used to describe cell types during the different stages of the reproductive process. While haploid and diploid cells may bear close associations, the two are completely different in a number of ways.

Summary Table

Haploid CellsDiploid Cells
Includes all reproductive cells in the bodyIncludes all cell types in the body except the reproductive cells
A product of meiosisA product of the fusion of two haploid cells
Does not undergo mitosisUndergoes mitosis
Carries 23 chromosomesCarries 46 chromosomes
Examples of haploid cells are sperm and egg cellsExamples of diploid cells are muscle, blood, and skin cells

Definitions

Diploid and haploid cells during the process of meiosis
Diploid and haploid cells during the process of meiosis

Haploid cells, also known as gametes or sex cells, are products of cellular replication and division. These cells contain only half the normal number of chromosomes (or n) in eukaryotic organisms.

Diploid cells, on the other hand, are the most abundant cells found in animals and plants. They contain a complete set of chromosomes (or 2n), which is twice the number of cells in a haploid cell.

Haploid vs Diploid Cells

Haploid and diploid cells play a significant role in the growth and reproduction of eukaryotic organisms. Although they both make up the cells in the body, there is a big difference between haploid and diploid cells.

Cell Types

Animals and humans are comprised of two types of cells: somatic and reproductive cells. Somatic cells are diploid cells that include all cell types in the body except the reproductive cells, which are haploid cells found in males and females.

Cellular Development and Growth

The development of haploid and diploid cells is an interlinked cycle that aids in growth and reproduction. The diploid cells in humans and animals have a full number of chromosomes, which appear in homologous pairs (or 2n). These cells result from the fusion of sperm and egg cells, and they carry both paternal and maternal chromosomes.

During the process of reproduction, diploid cells undergo meiosis, which is a process where a cell replicates and divides twice to form four haploid cells. Unlike diploid cells, haploid cells only carry one set of chromosomes (or n). Once two haploid cells fuse during reproduction, the number of chromosomes from each cell merges to produce a diploid cell, which goes through mitosis for cellular growth.

Number of Chromosomes

Haploid cells, also known as gametes or sex cells, carry 23 chromosomes, which is half of the normal number of chromosomes in a non-reproductive cell. Once two haploid cells unite, 23 paternal chromosomes merge with 23 maternal chromosomes to form a diploid zygote.

Since diploid cells are the product of the fusion of two haploid cells, they carry twice the number of chromosomes in a haploid cell, which is 46 in total. Diploid cells have two homologous copies of chromosomes passed down by the father and the mother.

Examples

Haploid cells are reproductive cells that exist in two forms: sperm cells and egg cells. Diploid cells, on the other hand, are all types of cells in the human body with the exception of sex cells. Examples of diploid cells include muscle, blood, and skin cells.

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