The majority of human chromosomes
are known as autosomes. How many chromosomes in a human
karyotype of a somatic, body, cell are sex chromosomes?
Chromosomes are the structures
within humans that contain our genetic information in the form of genes. We can visualize the chromosomes in
a cell by using a karyotype. Let’s take a look at a karyotype of
a human body cell.
In human body cells, also known as
somatic cells, there are 46 chromosomes arranged into 23 pairs. The majority of these chromosomes
are autosomes, which means they are not sex chromosomes. These autosomes are numbered 1 to
22 and are arranged in descending size order. 22 pairs of autosomes means there
are 44 in total.
The remaining two chromosomes found
in a typical body cell of a human are the sex chromosomes. These chromosomes contain genes
that are important in the sexual development of humans. A human male will typically have
the combination XY as shown here, and a human female the combination XX. As you can see, the X chromosome is
considerably larger than the Y.
Looking back at our question, we
can now determine that the number of chromosomes in a human body cell that are sex
chromosomes is two.