8 Honest Difference between Chromatid and Chromosome

What Is the difference between chromatid and chromosome?

Genetics is a branch of biology that deals with the study of heredity in a living organism. The topic deals with genetic materials known as DNA which are present on chromatids and chromosomes.

The lesson provides the core difference chromosome and chromatid in tabular form to enhance easy understanding. Take the time to read through for deeper insight.

Difference between Chromatid and Chromosome

What Is A Chromatid?

A chromatid is one of the two identical biological structures that make up duplicated chromosomes. Chromatids are normally formed after condensation of chromatin during metaphase.

The joining of the chromatids at the centromere result in the formation of sister chromatids. These biological structures are quite important during cell division.

What Is A Chromosome?

A chromosome is a coiled thread-like biological structure that carries the genetic materials of a living organism. The number of chromosomes differs from one animal to another.

The condense form of the chromosome is chromatin which is made up of DNA and proteins are known as histones. Human reproductive chromosomes are X and Y where X tends to be larger than Y.

Comparison Chart: Chromatid vs Chromosome 

Basic Terms Chromatid Chromosome
Function Enable duplication of cells Carry genetic material of a living organism
Occurrence Occur during cell division such as mitosis and meiosis Occur throughout the life cycle of a cell.
Centromere Only on sister chromatids Present
DNA Not used during the synthesis of macromolecule Used in the production of complex proteins
Composition Unwounded DNA Tightly coiled DNA and histones
Photosynthetic Ability Allow duplication of DNA Carries genetic information
Meaning Two identical structures that make chromosome A coiled thread-like structure that carries genetic information
Copies Each sister chromatid is an exact copy of the other Homologous chromosomes have different traits

Core Difference between Chromatid and Chromosome

Here is the core difference between chromosome and chromatid in point form. They include:

  1. Chromosomes carry genetic information while chromatids enhance cell duplication during cell division.
  2. Chromosomes occur throughout the life cycle of a cell while chromatids occur when a cell undergoes mitosis or meiosis.
  3. Chromosomes are not exact copies of each other while sister chromatids have identical copies.
  4. Only sister chromatids have centromere while chromosomes have centromere
  5. In chromosomes, DNA is used in the production of complex proteins but in chromatids, DNA is not used.

Similarities between Chromatid and Chromosome

  1. Both are formed by DNA molecule
  2. Both are eukaryotic cells
  3. Both have genetic information that plays a hereditary role
  4. Both have histone proteins

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Comparison Video


The core difference between a chromatid and a chromosome is that two identical chromatids make a chromosome. These two biological structures are essential for a hereditary role.

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