Somatic Cells and Gametes

Chromosomes are the most important structures in the body during cell division. They contain hereditary information in the form of DNA. They transmit hereditary information from one generation to the next.  On the basis of the number of chromosomes, there are two types of body cells; somatic cells and gametes.

What are Somatic Cells?

A somatic cell is any cell in the body of multicellular organisms, other than sex cells. They are diploid cells which contain two sets of chromosomes. From which one set is derived from the father and one from the mother. If we consider homologous chromosome pair, one chromosome of the pair is paternal and one is maternal. For example in humans, there are 46 chromosomes in each somatic cell in 23 pairs. Each pair of chromosomes contains one chromosome from the mother and one from the father. Stem cells produced as a result of mitosis give rise to somatic cells. Somatic cells make all the internal and external structures of the body.

What are Gametes?

Gametes are the cells which take part in reproduction. They are only produced in reproductive organs in males and females. There are two types of gametes. In males, they are called sperms and in females, they are called eggs. They are haploid cells containing only one pair of chromosomes. When the eggs are fertilized by sperms, they make a diploid zygote which contains the complete information required to produce a complete offspring.

Difference Between Somatic cells and Gametes

Somatic cells


All bodily cells other than sex cells Sex cells, that take part in reproduction
Same in males and females Sperms in male and eggs in female
Diploid cells Haploid cells
Produced by mitosis Produced by meiosis
Form internal and external organs of the body Do not form any structures in the body
Found everywhere in the body Restricted to certain parts only
Do not fuse during reproduction

Egg fuses with sperm to form a diploid zygote

during reproduction

Stem cells give rise to somatic cells Germ cells give rise to Gametes

Next:Difference between Gamete and Zygote

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