AAT Bioquest

What are the differences between autosomes and allosomes?

Posted January 16, 2023


Basis of Differentiation 




Autosomes are the chromosomes that determine somatic or physical characteristics of an organism.

Allosomes are sex chromosomes that contain genes and determine the sex and sex-linked inheritance of an organism.

Number in the human genome

The human genome has 22 pairs of autosomes. Each autosome has several genes each of which performs unique and specific functions.

The human genome has 1 pair of allosomes. 

Appearance in humans

The pair of autosomes are homologous in humans.

The pair may differ from one another in humans. Female allosomes are homologous while male allosomes are non-homologous.

Influence in determining sex characteristics

Do not have any influence on the determination of sex and related characteristics.

Have a significant role in sex determination. During meiosis, the X and the Y chromosomes pair together and this pairing influences sex determination.

Additional resources

The different levels of genetic diversity in sex chromosomes and autosomes

Cell Structures and Organelles

DNA and RNA Quantitation

Gelite™ Safe DNA Gel Stain *10,000X Water Solution*