Do somatic cells contain sex chromosomes?  

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trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The term somatic cell refers to any cell that is not a gamete or sex cell or germ cell. Somatic cells make up the organs of the body and even give rise to sperm and eggs. However, somatic cells contain the diploid or 2n amount of chromosomes due to the fact that in sexually reproducing organisms, one set of chromosomes is contributed to the offspring by the ova, and the other set is contributed by the sperm. Each chromosome pair is inherited from both the mother and the father. In humans, for example, there are 23 chromosome pairs. The last pair is the sex chromosomes and they are designated as XX for female offspring and XY for male offspring. Therefore, a somatic cell would most definitely contain sex chromosomes. Each cell in the body has a full chromosome complement except for the gametes, which contain the haploid(n) amount.