What is the Difference Between Similar But Different Things, Terms, and Objects

What is the Difference between Chromatin and Chromosomes

DNA is the basic coding of all living organisms and it is contained by chromosomes. People are generally confused about the meanings of chromosomes and chromatin. Although they both contain the heredity as well as characteristic information of the living organisms but still they have some key differences.


As chromosomes are present in all eukaryotes and prokaryotes, eukaryotes have a littler refined arrangement of chromosomes. Theirs chromosomes contain DNA, proteins and a thick structure called chromatin. Chromatin allows large DNA to fit into cell nucleus. Chromatin is basically composed of histone. Histone is a complex protein, which packs the chromosomes in cell’s nucleus. The packing of chromatin is different in different phases of cell cycle. It is usually loose in inter-phase, when RNA and DNA replicate the former. Two other associated terms are Eu-chromatin and hetero-chromatin. Eu-chromatin is nucleosome, which consists of DNA wrapped with histone proteins and multiple numbers of nucleosomes.


Chromosomes are the structures containing DNA and several other proteins as well. DNA is the basic material, which contains information about the traits of any organism. Chromosomes contain DNA and DNA- Bound Proteins. These Proteins hold the DNA within the structure and control the functionality of it. Chromosomes of different organisms are different in shapes, like linear or circular. It is impossible to see chromosomes in any way until unless the cell is going through the division process like meiosis or mitosis. Normally in eukaryotes chromosome are larger and linear and in prokaryotes chromosomes are smaller and circular.  

Chromatin vs Chromosomes

The major difference between chromosomes and chromatin is that, chromosomes are present in all living organism but the presence of chromatin is not necessary. Moreover, chromatins are present only in eukaryotes. Another very clear difference between these two terms is that, chromosome is a very broad category and present more precisely in prokaryotes in contrast to chromatin.

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