How do autosomal chromosomes differ from sex chromosomes?

1 Answer

The autosomal chromosomes have thousands of your genes arranged on them but these genes are not able to determine sex, while sex chromosomes carry genes which specifically determine the sex that you are, eg: XY = males and XX = females.


The autosomal chromosomes have almost all of your genes on them. There are 22 pairs of them in every cell in your body (except sperm and eggs). One chromosome of each pair came from your mom and the other from your dad (when their gametes got fertilised and a zygote was formed).

Sex chromosomes are only 1 pair. There can either be XX or XY combinations. Mother always provides X (all eggs carry one X chromosome). Father either provides X (to daughter) or provides Y (to son).

Here is a karyotype: all chromosomes in your body are arranged in pairs: