Totipotent vs Pluripotent: Difference and Comparison

The terms totipotent and pluripotent are two types of cells. Basically, there are three types of cells, and they are totipotent, pluripotent, and multipotent.

In scientific terms, stem cells are the smallest unit that makes any kind of cells in a human body. There are a total of more than two hundred types of cells in our body and stem cell can take the form of any kind of cell.

It is a small microscopic element that can live on its own. There are mainly, three parts in a cell and they are the membrane, the nucleus, and the cytoplasm. Stem cells are mainly two types and are embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells.

Embryonic stem cells are found in embryos. and adult stem cells are found in human organs. Totipotent and Pluripotent fall under the category of embryonic stem cells.

Key Takeaways

  1. Totipotent cells can develop into an entire organism, including extra-embryonic tissues.
  2. Pluripotent cells can differentiate into all three germ layers but cannot form extra-embryonic tissues.
  3. Totipotency occurs only in the early stages of development, while pluripotency persists throughout development.

Totipotent vs Pluripotent

The difference between totipotent and pluripotent is that Totipotent is a type of stem cell that can be developed into an individual organism. Whereas, Pluripotent is a type of stem cell that can develop itself into more than two hundred cells.

Totipotent vs Pluripotent

Those cells which can develop and have the capability to grow themselves into an individual organism are known as totipotent. Those cells that are in the initial stage as the embryo’s cell is known as totipotent cells.

Totipotent cells are produced with the diffusion of the sperm cell and a fertilized egg cell in a human body which further diffuses and becomes an individual cell, and that cell is known as a zygote, which further produces a whole organism.

On the other hand, those cells which can develop themselves into other two hundred different kinds of cells are known as pluripotent.

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After the diffusion of the cells when the zygote is formed, after a few days of maturing the zygote slowly starts to produce the other sells in an individual is known as a blastocyst. It has the capability of producing the producing other two hundred cells.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonTotipotentPluripotent
DefinitionThe stem cells that have the capability of growing themselves into a new individual organism are known as totipotent.The stem cells that can develop themselves into more different types of two hundred cells are known as pluripotent.
Formation Totipotent cells are formed by the process of diffusion of Sperm cells and Fertilized egg cells.Pluripotent cells are the next stage of totipotent cells.
Research Totipotent cells are least used for research work Pluripotent cells are or mostly used for research work
Function It can be differentiated into all cellsIt can be differentiated into three germ layers
ExampleZygoteBlood cells, Cardiac muscles, Neural cells, etc.

What is Totipotent?

Those stem cells that have the capability of growing themselves into a new organism are known as Totipotent. Totipotent cells fall under the category of embryonic cells.

These cells have got the name totipotent because the word totipotent means whole, which means it can create a new individual.

The totipotent cells can make themselves into different cells in a human body, which is known as the Pluripotent cells.

The diffusion of the two cells develops totipotent cells, that is, the sperm cell and a fertilized egg cell which further develop into on single cell known as the zygote. The totipotent cells are the least used in research works.

As these stem cells in the initial stage are single cells. It can also be differentiated into all cells. Examples of totipotent cells are zygotes and Spores.

What is Pluripotent?

Those stem cells that can develop themselves into more than two hundred other cells are known as Pluripotent. Pluripotent cells also fall under the category of embryonic cells.

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These cells are known as pluripotent because ‘Pluri’ is the word Pluripotent, which is plural and means many or several. In simple words, it contains different types of cells.

The Pluripotent cells are the next stage of the developing cells of the zygote. After the diffusion of the cells when the zygote is formed, after a few days of maturing, the zygote slowly starts to produce the other cells in an individual is known as a blastocyst.

It is a combination of more than two hundred cells. Pluripotent cells can be differentiated into three germ layers. Also, it is used for research works. Examples of Pluripotent cells are blood cells, cardiac muscles, etc.

pluripotent

Main Differences Between Totipotent and Pluripotent

  1. The stem cells that have the capability of growing themselves into a new individual organism are known as Totipotent. On the other hand, the stem cells that can develop themselves into more different types of two hundred cells are known as pluripotent.
  2. Totipotent cells are formed by the process of diffusion of sperm cells and fertilised egg cells. On the other hand, pluripotent is the next stage of totipotent cells.
  3. Totipotent cells are used least for research work. On the other hand, Pluripotent cells are or mostly used for research work.
  4. Totipotent cells can be differentiated into all cells. On the other hand, Pluripotent cells can be differentiated into three germ layers.
  5. Examples of Totipotent cell is Zygote and Spores. On the other hand, examples of Pluripotent cells are blood cells, cardiac muscles, neural cells, etc.
References
  1. https://stemcellsjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1634/stemcells.2008-0232
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1360138507000970

Last Updated : 01 August, 2023

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24 thoughts on “Totipotent vs Pluripotent: Difference and Comparison”

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