Asked by MaxBiology ๐ŸŒฑ

What is the difference between a homologous chromosome and a tetrad?

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Emily Vause

Science teacher and Biology specialist. 5 years experience

Homologous chromosomes are the pairs of chromosomes you have in (virtually) all of your cells. You get one chromosome of each pair from each parent. During mitosis and meiosis these chromosomes will pair up and line up along the midpoint of the cell. During both mitosis and meiosis the DNA must replicate so it can be split into two separate cells. So effectively each chromosome is made of two sister chromatids attached in the middle (looking like an X). A tetrad is when the homologous chromosomes which have already copied their DNA pair up. Effectively, the difference is that a tetrad is a pair of homologous chromosomes which look like an X rather than an I.

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