The bodies of most animals and plants contain body (somatic) cells, eg skin cells, nerve cells, liver cells, and also contain gametes (sex cells). The body cells of most animals and plants each contain two sets of chromosomes in their nuclei.
Every chromosome in one set has a matching partner in the other set with the same length of DNA and the same genes. Cells that contain two sets of chromosomes are said to be diploid.
For most of a cell's life its chromosomes are not visible as separate units and the DNA is loosely coiled.
The total number of chromosomes in two complete sets is called the diploid chromosome complement. Different species of animals and plants and some fungi have different diploid chromosome complements.
|Species||Number of sets of chromosomes in body cells||Number of chromosomes in one complete set||Diploid chromosome complement|