Difference Between Centrosome and Centriole


Main Difference

The main difference between the centrosome and centriole is that centrosome is an organelle present in the cytoplasm whereas centriole is the microtubule unit which is involved in the formation of spindle apparatus during the cell division.

Centrosome vs. Centriole

Centrosomes are made of centrioles and present in the cytoplasm while centrioles are formed of microtubules and present in the centrosome. The centrosome is composed of two centrioles whereas centrioles are composed of protein microtubules. Centrosomes are single in number on the other hand centrioles are two in number. Centrosome has no specific structure while centriole has cylindrical body structure. On replication, centrosome form only one single copy whereas centriole form two copies in the result of replication. The centrosome is found near the nucleus on the other hand centriole is present near the basal bodies of cilia and flagella. The structure and type of centrosome vary in different species whereas centriole is found in two types which are Typical and Atypical. The primary function of the centrosome is to organize the centrioles, on the other hand, the primary function of centriole is to form the mitotic spindle during the late metaphase and early anaphase of the cell division.

Centrosome vs. Centriole

Comparison Chart

The centrosome is an organelle found in eukaryotes which contains the centriolesA centriole is a cylindrical structure which forms the spindle microtubes during cell division
It consists of two centriolesA centriole is composed of nine microtubule sets
The size of the centrosome is double that of a centrioleThe length of a centriole is about 200 nm wide while 500 nm long
Centrosomes have no definite shapeCentrioles are cylindrical
The centrosome is present in animals and found near to the nucleusCentrioles are present in protists and animals cells and found inside the cell membrane or near the cilia and flagella
Result of Replication
In the result of replication, centrosome produces only one single copy of themselvesReplication of centrioles takes place in S phase, and two copies are formed
They play a role in interphase and mitotic phase of the cell cycle.
They are organizing the microtubules
Centrioles help in the formation of spindle fibers
They also form the basal body of cilia and flagella
They also help to produce the proteins

What is Centrosome?

A centrosome is that organelle that serves as the organizing center for the microtubules in an animal cell. In most type of mammals, it is thought that these centrosomes are not inherited from the parental cells, but they are newly formed in the cells of a zygote. It is composed of two centrioles, and these centrioles are arranged in an orthogonal pattern. These two centrioles are surrounded by pericentriolar material (PCM). The pericentriolar material is an amorphous material that anchors the microtubules by microtubule nucleation. These anchoring microtubules are of three types like y-tubulin, ninein, and pericentrin. The size of the centrosome is double than that of the centriole, but its size does not remain the same because its size may change during the cell divisions. In the animal body, the centrosome is present near the nucleus. Centrosome present in all animal cells. The boundaries of the centrosome are determined by that material that surrounds the centrioles and also uncloses them. The proteins that enclose the centrioles are said to form the pericentriolar material. The microtubules of the centrioles are found at a ninety-degree angle to each other.


  • Centrosome performs the function of forming spindle fibers during the cell cycle.
  • Centrosomes are also involved in the metazoan lineage of eukaryotes.
  • It also plays a role during the interphase and mitotic phases.
  • It also organizes the microtubules and maintains cell polarity.
  • The centrosome is also involved in intercellular transport with the help of the microtubule array.

What is Centriole?

A centriole is a cylindrical structure, assemble of two centrioles that are known as mother and daughter centrioles. Both the centrioles are found in orthogonal pattern and form the centrosome. One centriole is composed of nine triplet tubules that are assembled in cylinder-like structure. Each set of microtubule consists of three microtubules. These microtubules arrange in such a pattern that is known as the cartwheel structure. The protein SAS-6 is a molecule that acts as the precursor for the formation of the centriole. But there are also some different proteins in C.elegans that form the centriole like SPD-2, SAS-4, SAS-5, and SAS-6. The microtubules that form the centrioles are about 200 nm wide and 500 nm in length. In the result of replication, centrioles replicate in S phase and form two copies of centrioles. A centriole is the part of the body of many protists and other animals. In the organism body, they are found near the cilia and flagella and present in the cell membrane just to form the basal bodies. Their proteins are also produced by the centrioles themselves that make the actual structure of centrioles.


  • Centrioles form the aster during the interphase.
  • Centrioles also organize the microtubules in the cytoplasm.
  • The mother centriole positions the cilia and flagella.
  • Sperm centrioles are involved in the movement of sperms also.
  • They are also involved in the development of embryo after fertilization.
  • They are also responsible for producing the proteins that form the structure.

Key Differences

  1. The centrosome is found in the cytoplasm whereas centriole is present in the centrosome.
  2. A centrosome is made of two centrioles while a centriole is made of nine microtubules.
  3. The centrosome is located near the nucleus of the cell on the other hand centriole is located near the basal body of cilia and flagella.
  4. During the replication process, centrosome forms the single copy of itself while centrioles form the two copies of themselves.


The conclusion of the article is that centrosome is an organelle, formed of two centrioles a found in the cytoplasm while centrioles composed of microtubules and are present in the centrosome. Both the centrosome and centriole are present in animals and some protist.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White