Meaning of Diploid Cell
It is a term used to describe a cell that contains two complete sets of chromosomes. Most mammals, including humans, have mainly diploid cells.
The general term ” ploidy ” is used to refer generically to the number of chromosome sets in a cell, and animals can exhibit a wide variety of forms of ploidy. A haploid cell, for example, has only one set of chromosomes, while a tetraploid cell has four.
Chromosomes contain genetic material that is used to encode an organism, like a set of blueprints for life. A single diploid stem cell can multiply and divide into a complete organism under the right conditions, and when that organism is born, its cells will continue to multiply and divide until death occurs.
Diploid cells can also divide to create haploid cells that contain half of the genetic material of the parent cell.
These haploid cells can be used in reproduction, with two haploid cells from different parents joining together to create a single diploid stem cell that mixes the genetic material from the parents.
With the exception of the germ cells in the testes and ovaries, all cells in the human body are diploid in nature, with a complete set of genetic blueprints.
Within each cell, only certain parts of the genome are activated, and these determine what type of cell it will be: hair and skin cells, for example, are very different. The human body is constantly changing and developing, so these cells must be able to continue to multiply throughout life.
Together, the chromosomes in a diploid cell are homologous, with each chromosome in one set containing a counterpart in the other set that it can pair with during meiosis. During this process, the chromosomes match up with their counterparts and exchange genetic material.
When the chromosomes separate again, the daughter chromosomes are different from the parents. This ensures that the haploid cells used in reproduction contain a different mix of genetic material, contributing to genetic diversity and making a species more resilient.
Understanding ploidy may be important to understanding heredity. For example, the fact that genetic material mixes up every time haploid cells are created is important, because it explains why children of the same parents can be so radically different, since each contains a different mix of genetic information.
Ploidy also explains how dominant and recessive traits work; With a recessive trait, someone must inherit a gene on both sets of chromosomes, while dominant traits manifest when only one set contains the gene.