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Difference Between Chromatin And Chromosomes

In the nucleus, the DNA is a pack of special proteins known as histones. This helps in the formation of a complex called chromatin. The chromatin goes through further condensation to form the chromosome. A human body has 23 pairs of chromosomes. Learn the difference between chromatin and chromosomes here.

The chromatin is a lower order of DNA organization, on the other side chromosomes are the higher order of DNA organization. The genetic content in an organism is counted as the pairs of chromosomes present. The structure of Chromatin is the composition of the nucleosomes-a complex of DNA and proteins known as histones. The diameter of the chromatin fiber is 10 nm. Chromosomes are a higher order of DNA organization, where DNA is condensed at least by 10,000 times onto itself.

Let us understand the key difference between Chromatin and Chromosomes.

difference between chromatin and chromosomes

Difference Between Chromatin And Chromosomes

Character Chromatin Chromosome
Definition The DNA is a package of special proteins. This proteins are called as histones. it helps in the formation of chromatin. Chromosome is a compact structure of nucleic acids and protein present in the nucleus of cells.
Present It is present throughout the cell cycle. It is clearly visible and found during cell division as highly condensed structures.
Visualization Chromatin is visualized through Electron microscope. Chromosome is visualized through Light microscope.
Aspect It is Long and thin present in nucleus. It is compact, thick and ribbon-like. It is found during cell division.
Pairs It is unpaired. It  is paired.
Metabolic activity Chromatin allows DNA replications. Chromosome does not undergoes such metabolic activities. It is meant to distribute the genetic information.
Observable It is observable in the interphase nucleus. It is observable in the M-phase or nuclear division.
Nucleoprotein It is undercondensed part of nucleoprotein. It is condensed part of nucleoprotein.


Chromatin is present in the nucleus of the cell and helps in making the DNA a compact unit to fit within the nucleus. The histone proteins assemble the DNA into special structures known as nucleosomes. It is further folded to configure a chromatin fiber. Its main function is to improve the strength of the DNA during cell division, gene expression regulation and DNA replication, and protecting DNA from damage.

During mitosis and meiosis chromatin benefits proper isolation of the chromosomes in anaphase, the characteristic shapes of chromosomes that takes place during this stage are the output of DNA coiling into highly condensed chromatin.

Many organisms do not follow this organization plan. For example, spermatozoa and Avian RBCs have more tight-packed chromatin that most eukaryotic cells. Spermatozoa is a motile sperm cell. Avian RBCs are the bird’s red blood cells. Prokaryotic cells have completely different structures for arranging their DNA.

Mitosis is a part of cell division while recreating chromosomes. On the other side, meiosis is a special type of cell cycle in sexually reproducing organisms used in the production of sperms and egg cells. These male and female reproductive cells are also known as gametes. Thus, the overall structure of the chromatin network is dependent on the cell division cycle.


The DNA a package of compact, thick and thread-like structures called Chromosomes. It is tightly coiled around histone proteins to form a chromosome. Chromosomes are made by the condensation of chromatin fibers.

A chromosome is a molecule of DNA and contains a bunch of genetic information. It is visible under the microscope. A chromosome is always present in the nucleus of the cells.

Chromosome differs according to the difference in the organisms. There are 23 pairs of chromosomes found in the human body. In these pairs, 22 pairs are the autosomes whereas, one pair is the sex chromosome, X and Y. Each parent gives one chromosome to each pair so that the babies get half of their chromosomes from their mother and another half from their father.


Chromatin fiber is about 10 nm in diameter. Chromatins represent DNA folded on nucleoproteins by a magnitude of 50.

Chromosomes are made by compacted chromatin. In this, the DNA is condensed 10,000 times onto itself.


Chromatin is visible in a cell through an electron microscope where it shows the typical beads on string appearance. On the other side, Chromosomes are easily visible and can be seen using a light microscope.





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thanks for in lighting us

Olatunji Akinola
Olatunji Akinola

Thanks for lighting me more this aspect

Nneka chinedu
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