Stages of Mitosis

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Names of the stages of mitosis in order >>

Mitosis animation
Animation of mitosis. Credit: Fluffernutter2
Stages of mitosis
First division of a zygote. (Full-size Image)
Stages of mitosis
Basic diagram of mitosis. Diagram comparing mitosis with meiosis Credit: Saperaud
Read about:
Interphase >>
Prophase >>
Metaphase >>
Anaphase >>
Telophase >>
Related Topics:
Prophase details >>
Chromatids >>
Interphase >>
Eukaryotes >>
Interkinesis >>
Binary fission >>
Chromosomes >>
Centromeres >>
Telomeres >>
DNA >>
Histones >>
Nucleus >>
Base pairs >>
Nucleosome >>
Cell >>
Meiosis >>
Cytokinesis >>
Interkinesis >>
DNA replication >>
Microtubules >>

One of the most dramatic activities that eukaryotic cells accomplish is division, in which a cell must first copy and sort out evenly all of its genetic material (chromosomes), and then pinch itself in two. This process, which produces two genetically identical daughter cells from a single parent cell, is called mitosis.

No change in chromosome number occurs during mitosis, because one sister chromatid from each chromosome in the parent cell passes into each of the two daughter cells (the sister chromatids separate during anaphase).

Mitosis is the method by which the somatic cells of all multicellular organisms multiply (it is the process by which growth occurs). In addition, plants produce gametes by mitosis (they make spores by meiosis). Animals produce gametes via meiosis. The stages of mitosis are detailed on the following pages.

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Meiosis versus mitosis >>

Meiosis >>


When does mitosis occur? Mitosis occurs only in eukaryotes. Prokaryotes (archaea and bacteria) divide by binary fission. In the eukaryotic cell cycle, mitosis alternates with interphase.


Why does mitosis occur? Mitosis allows the equal distribution of chromosomes into daughter cells. The resulting two cells are genetically identical to each other and to the parent cell that divided to produce them. Without the organized process of mitosis, chromosomes would be distributed at random into the daughter cells and the resulting cells would probably not even be viable.



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