At metaphase, the chromosomes become fully condensed. The main function of metaphase is to ensure each cell gets the correct chromosome complement. After the nuclear membrane has disassembled completely in prophase, and the spindle has assembled, the microtubules pull the chromosomes toward both poles. Since the chromosomes contain two kinetochores, one associated with each chromatid, the chromosomes are pulled toward opposite poles at the same time. The chromatids are still physically connected, so this pulling action results in the chromosomes aligning in the middle of the cell, between the two poles. This also orients the sister chromatids: one to each pole. This region of the cell is often called the metaphase plate.
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