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Difference between Haploid and Diploid

Genes control the functionality, behavior and the traits associated with all living organisms. These genes are inherited from the organisms’ parents, and control everything from species to morphology. A chromosome is a double-helix structure that is formed from tightly wound DNA and protein inside the nucleus of the cells. The strand of DNA contains genes found in living organisms. It also contains proteins, which help structure the DNA and regulate its functions.

The term ploidy is used to refer to the sets of chromosomes present in the nucleus of the cell. There are two significant types of ploidies namely haploids and diploids. The other classification of ploidies is when the number of sets of chromosomes increases greater than 2. These types of ploidies are called polyploidy. The most important distinction between diploid and haploid is the number of chromosome sets found in the nucleus. Haploid cells have only a single set of chromosomes while diploid cells have two sets of chromosomes.


Haploid, also known as monoploid, contains only one set of chromosomes. These cells are most commonly referred to as sex cells or gametes. These cells are formed during the meiosis and are quite diverse in terms of genetics. The male and female gametes merge during the process of fertilization to form a diploid cell. These cells are formed during the stages of reproduction. They also play a major role in maintaining the number of chromosomes in an organism. The number of haploid cells is half the number of diploid cells.


Diploid consists of two sets of chromosomes. They are formed due to the merging of two haploid cells. These cells are formed during the mitosis stage. The occurrence of diploid cells ensures an organism has two copies of homologous chromosomes in the nucleus. All somatic cells are referred to as diploid cells. One set of chromosomes comes from the father and the other from the mother. The union of the two chromosomes creates the somatic cells. Similar to the union of two chromosomes, polyploidy can have more than two sets of chromosomes merging together.


There are several differences that can distinguish the form and functionality of haploids and diploids, some of them are mentioned below -

Parameters Haploids Diploids
Origin This chromosome set occurs in eukaryotes when a sex cell or gamete is produced This chromosome set occurs in eukaryotes when a non-sex cell or somatic cells are produced
Cell Division Cells are formed after Meiotic cell division Cells are formed after Mitosis cell division
Chromosome count The number of chromosomes is half the number of diploids as it contains a single set The number of chromosomes is twice the number of haploids, as it contains two sets of homologous copies of chromosomes
Cell types Formation of Sex cells or Gametes Formation of Non-sex cells or Somatic cells
Egg types Haploids are developed from unfertilized eggs Diploids are developed from fertilized eggs
Significance These cells play a vital role in genetic diversity as it creates its own signature and is used in sexual reproduction These cells play a major role in growth, functionality and development of organisms
Organisms Ants, bees, wasps Mammals, fish, plants
Examples Male or Female Germ cells (Gametes) Blood cells, skin cells, muscle cells (Somatic cells)

In human beings, there are 23 haploid chromosomes and 46 diploid chromosomes. The likelihood of mutations occurs due to the somatic cells rather than gametes. There are around 220 different types of somatic cells in human beings. Therefore, the composition of cells in the human system, such as the nature and contents depend on somatic cells. In summary, the haploid cells play a major role in sexual reproduction and genetic diversity, whereas diploids are responsible for the growth and development of various types of organisms.

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