Difference between Chromosome and Chromatid

We all know what a chromosome is. (if you don’t: Chromosomes are thread-like structures that is present inside the nucleus of all living organism.) But most of us don’t know what a chromatid is. This article aims at helping you understand the meaning and difference between Chromosome and Chromatid.

Difference between Chromosome and Chromatid

The following image clearly illustrates the difference between the two in the form of their structure. The two-strand like structures are the chromatid, and the structure as a whole forms the chromosome.

Difference between Chromosome and Chromatid

Difference between Chromosome and Chromatid

A chromosome is a genetic material that has all the features and characteristics of an organism. Derived from Greek, “Chroma” and “Soma”, which translates to “color” and “body” respectively. Now, a chromosome is made up of two strands which are identical to each other and these are called Chromatids. The major difference between Chromosome and Chromatid are summarized below.

Difference between Chromosome and Chromatid



Their Function is to carry the genetic material

Their main function is to enable the cells to duplicate

A chromosome occurs throughout the cell’s life cycle

A chromatid, on the other hand are created only when the cell undergoes mitosis or meiosis

Chromosomes are not exact copies of each other. One copy of gene comes from each parent

Sister Chromatids are identical copies of each other

Chromosomes have centromeres

Only Sister Chromatids have centromeres

DNA is used during macromolecule synthesis

(production of complex proteins)

DNA is not used during macromolecule synthesis


A chromosome is made up two Identical Sister Chromatids. And each sister chromatids are joined at the centromere. A copy of each chromosome is inherited from a male parent and a female parent and this explains the characteristic traits possessed by their offspring (such as facial features reminiscent of the parents).

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