22+ Differences Between X And Y Chromosome

Teeny Tiny thread-like structures carrying the genetic information are known as Chromosomes. Chromosome X and Chromosome Y are known as Sex Chromosomes because of their vital role in sex determination.

These terms sound like synonyms and are even used interchangeably many times, but both terms have significant differences.

The primary difference between Chromosome X and Y is that the former is present in females and males while the latter is present only in males. 

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Key Differences –

X Chromosome –

  1. X Chromosomes are responsible for the sex determination of females. 
  2. Females have two X Chromosomes, while males have only one X Chromosome. 
  3. X Chromosome contains more genes than Y Chromosomes. 
  4. X Chromosome depicts five percent of the total human genome. 
  5. X Chromosome has more DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) than Y Chromosome. 

Y Chromosome –

  1. Y Chromosomes are responsible for the sex determination of males. 
  2. Females do not have Y Chromosome, while males have only one Y Chromosome. 
  3. Y Chromosome contains lesser genes than X Chromosome. 
  4. Y Chromosome depicts only two percent of the total human genome. 
  5. Y Chromosome has lesser DNA (Deoxyribonucleic Acid) than X Chromosome. 

Comparison Between X And Y Chromosome

ParameterChromosome XChromosome Y
PurposeChromosome X is concerned with the sexual determination of females.Chromosome Y is concerned with the sexual determination of males.
NumberThere are two X Chromosomes present in females and only one in males.Chromosome Y is only present in males.
SizeChromosome X is comparatively bigger than Chromosome Y.Chromosome Y is comparatively more minor in size than Chromosome X.
GenesApproximately 900 to 1400 genes reside in Chromosome X.Approximately 50 to 200 genes reside in Chromosome Y.
DNAChromosome X carries more DNA than Chromosome Y does.Chromosome Y carries lesser DNA than Chromosome X does.
% of the human genomeChromosome X represents almost five percent of the human genome.Chromosome Y represents almost two percent of the human genome.
CentromereChromosome X’s centromere is situated in the middle of the Chromosome.Chromosome Y’s centromere is situated at one end of the Chromosome.
GenotypeChromosome X exists in XX and XY genotypes.Chromosome Y exists in only the XY genotype.
AbnormalitiesMutations in Chromosome X can lead to Trisomy X Syndrome, and Turner Syndrome.Mutations in Chromosome Y can lead to Klinefelter Syndrome.

major differences between X and Chromosome Y

What exactly is Chromosome X?

There are two sex Chromosomes: Chromosome X and Chromosome Y. Chromosome X is responsible for the sex determination of females. It is estimated that there are 900 to 1400 genes in Chromosome X, representing five percent of the total human genome.

Females have two X Chromosomes, while males have only one X Chromosome. In the case of females, one Chromosome X is inherited from the mother and another from the father.

In the case of males, Chromosome X is inherited from the mother. Chromosome X exists in pair XX in females and in pair XY in males.

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Features of Chromosome X –

  1. Chromosome X is responsible for the sex determination of females. 
  2. Females have two X Chromosomes, and Males have only one X Chromosome. 
  3. It exists in the pair of XX in females and XY in males. 
  4. It is home to 900 to 1400 genes and represents five percent of the human genome.
  5. Due to a natural biological process of Lyonization, one Chromosome X is inactivated in females. 
  6. Chromosome X is also known as Metacentric because the centromere is in the middle of the Chromosome. 

What exactly is Chromosome Y?

Chromosome Y is another sex Chromosome that is responsible for the sex determination of males. There are 50 to 200 genes in Chromosome Y, which represents two percent of the human genome.

Y Chromosome is present in only males. Males have one Chromosome Y, while females have none. In males, it exists in the pair XY and is inherited from the father.

Chromosome Y has this one critical Gene known as SRY. This Gene is responsible for developing the male genitalia in a fetus. Basically, this gene makes it possible for a fetus to grow into a man. 

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Features of Chromosome Y –

  1. Chromosome Y is responsible for the sex determination of males. 
  2. Males have one Chromosome Y, while females have none. 
  3. Chromosome Y exists in the pair XY in males. 
  4. It is home to 50 to 200 genes and represents two percent of the human genome. 
  5. The Gene responsible for the formation of male genitalia known as SRY is present in Chromosome Y. 
  6. Chromosome Y is also known as Acrocentric because the centromere of Chromosome Y is present at one end of the Chromosome.  

Contrast Between X and Chromosome Y

Meaning

  • Chromosome X – A Sex Chromosome responsible for the sex determination of females is known as Chromosome X. 
  • Chromosome Y – A Sex Chromosome responsible for the sex determination of males is known as Chromosome Y.

Number

  • Chromosome X – There are two Chromosome X present in females, and only one Chromosome X is present in males. 
  • Chromosome Y – One Chromosome Y is present in males while females have none. 

Size

  • Chromosome X – Chromosome X is more prominent in size as compared with Chromosome Y. 
  • Chromosome Y – Chromosome Y is more minor in size as compared with Chromosome X. 

Number Of Genes

  • Chromosome X – There are about 900 to 1400 genes estimated to be present in Chromosome X. 
  • Chromosome Y – There are about 50 to 200 genes estimated to be present in Chromosome Y. 

Percentage Of The Human Genome

  • Chromosome X – Chromosome X depicts five percent of the total human genome. 
  • Chromosome Y – Chromosome Y depicts two percent of the total human genome. 

DNA

  • Chromosome X – Chromosome X has more DNA than Chromosome Y. 
  • Chromosome Y – Chromosome Y has lesser DNA than Chromosome X. 

Purpose

  • Chromosome X – The primary purpose of Chromosome X is to develop female genitalia in a fetus. 
  • Chromosome Y – The primary purpose of Chromosome Y is to develop male genitalia in a fetus.

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Functions of X and Y Chromosome –

X Chromosome –

  1. Sex Determination
  2. Physical Growth
  3. Mental Growth
  4. Cognitive Skills
  5. Building Immunity

Y Chromosome –

  1. Sex Determination 
  2. Testes Formation 
  3. Development of body hair

SYR Gene

  • Chromosome X – Chromosome X does not contain the SYR gene. 
  • Chromosome Y – SYR gene

Genotype

  • Chromosome X – Chromosome exists in the genotype XX in females and in XY in males. 
  • Chromosome Y – Chromosome Y only exists in the males in genotype XY. 

Abnormalities

  • Chromosome X – Abnormalities in the mutations of Chromosome X give rise to Trisomy X Syndrome and Turner Syndrome. 
  • Chromosome Y – Abnormalities in the mutations of Chromosome Y give rise to Klinefelter Syndrome. 

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Abnormalities that can rise due to the faulty inheritance of Chromosomes X and Y –

  1. Turner Syndrome refers to a condition where only one X Chromosome is inherited instead of two. 
  2. Trisomy X Syndrome is a condition where three X Chromosomes are inherited instead of two. 
  3. Klinefelter Syndrome refers to a condition where a man inherits three sex chromosomes instead of two. It exists in the pair of XXY. 

Centromere

  • Chromosome X – The centromere is present in the middle of Chromosome X. 
  • Chromosome Y – The centromere is present at one end of the Chromosome Y. 

Conclusion

Humans have 23 pairs of chromosomes. Of those 23, 22 are autosomes, and one team is of sex chromosomes. There are two chromosomes: X and Y chromosome. Chromosome X is responsible for the sex determination of females.

At the same time, Chromosome Y is responsible for the sex determination of Chromosome X. Chromosome X is more significant in size and has more genes than Chromosome Y.

Chromosome X depicts five percent of the total human genome. In comparison, Chromosome Y displays two percent of the whole human genome. 


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q1. Why is Chromosome X called Metacentric?

Chromosome X is called Metacentric due to the presence of a centromere in the middle of the Chromosome. 

Q2. Why is Chromosome Y called Acrocentric?

Chromosome Y is called Acrocentric due to the presence of a centromere at one end of the Chromosome. 

Q3. What is the purpose of Chromosome X and Chromosome Y?

The purpose of Chromosome X is to determine the female sex of the fetus, whereas the goal of Chromosome Y is to determine the male sex of the fetus. 

Q4. What are the major differences between Chromosome X and Chromosome Y?

Following are the major differences between X and Y Chromosomes.

1. Chromosome X is responsible for the determination of female sex, whereas Chromosome Y is responsible for the determination of male sex. 
2. Chromosome X is more prominent in size than Chromosome Y. 
Chromosome X has 900 to 1400 genes, while Chromosome Y has 50 to 200 genes. 
3. Chromosome X represents five percent of the human genome, whereas Chromosome Y represents two percent of the human genome. 
4. Chromosome X has more DNA than Chromosome Y. 


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