Ploidy refers to the number of sets of homologous chromosomes in the genome of a cell or an organism. Each set is designated by n. The term diploid refers to a cell or an organism that has two sets of chromosomes. In humans and other higher forms of living things, one of the two sets is derived from the mother's gamete and the other is from the father's gamete that united during fertilization. In a diploid state the haploid number is doubled, thus, this condition is also known as 2n.
An example of a cell in a diploid state is a somatic cell. In humans, the somatic cells typically contain 46 chromosomes in contrast to human haploid gametes (egg and sperm cells) that have only 23 chromosomes.
Word origin: from Greek diplous, double + -OID
- diploidic (adjective)
- diploidy (noun)