Chromosomes (blue), kinetochores (pink), microtubules (green). Other parts of the cell are unstained and therefore invisible.
The name of this stage of mitosis is derived from two Greek words, meta, meaning "after," "later" or "more advanced," and phasis, meaning "stage."
Now, during metaphase — the second stage of mitosis in the eukaryoticcell cycle — the chromosomes, pulled by the spindle fibers, line up along the middle of the cell, halfway between the centrosomes in the middle of the dividing cell. The chromosomes are now maximally condensed.
In mitosis, individual replicated chromosomes, each composed of two sister chromatids, move to the equatorial plate during this step (whereas during the first division of meiosis, pairs of replicated chromosomes (tetrads) line up at this stage). This lack of pairing between homologs during mitosis is a fundamental distinction between mitosis and meiosis. Mitosis, unlike meiosis, produces identical daughter cells, because each homolog divides into two identical chromatids during anaphase.