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What is the difference between diploid and haploid cells?

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Quick Answer

The main difference between haploid cells and diploid cells is diploid cells have two complete sets of chromosomes, while haploid cells only have one complete set of chromosomes. Haploid cells have half the amount of chromosomes that diploid cells have.

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Full Answer

Diploid cells undergo mitosis to reproduce. Diploid cells use this process to replicate themselves into daughter cells. In meiosis, diploid cells divide to produce haploid germ cells. The resulting haploid cells merge with other haploid cells during fertilization. Somatic cells, such as blood, skin and muscle cells are some examples of a diploid cell. Haploid cells function as gametes, sperm and ova, in sexual reproduction.

The sets of chromosomes of diploid and haploid cells are expressed in terms of haploid numbers and diploid numbers. A haploid number is the amount of chromosomes inside the nucleus of one chromosomal set. A diploid number concerns the nuclei of two chromosomal sets. The haploid number is abbreviated as the letter n. The diploid number is abbreviated using the expression 2n because a diploid cell has twice the amount of chromosomes as a haploid cell. The letter n stands for the number of chromosomes in the nucleus. A haploid cell has a total of 23 chromosomes, while a diploid cell possesses 46 chromosomes.

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