Homologous chromosomes consist of two sister chromatids, explains Pearson Education. A eukaryotic cell naturally contains 46 chromosomes, with one-half being from the animal's father and one-half being from the animal's mother. Prior to mitotic cellular division, each chromosome doubles into matching sister pairs.
The duplicated chromosomes or sister chromatids are connected by a protein structure called a centromere. The 23 paternal sister chromatids correspond with 23 maternal sister chromatids. Each corresponding set of sister chromatids make up a pair of homologous chromosomes. Although these homologous chromosomes are similar, they are not identical. The paternal sister chromatids contain genetic information from the animal's father, while the maternal sister chromatids contain genetic information from the animal's mother. During mitosis, the centromere of each sister chromatid divides and each daughter cell receives one half of the sister chromatids.