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The essential similarity between mitosis and meiosis is that both bring about the division of the cell nucleus which may or may not be followed by cytokinesis. The various stages of the cell division cycle are similar in both the cases and the same terminology is followed to describe them. In both mitosis and meiosis the chromosomes first uncoil, then duplicate or replicate and finally become compact and condensed by metaphase. The mechanism of division is exactly similar in both. Spindle fibres are formed which constitute the spindle apparatus, chromosomes attach to fibres running from the poles of their kinetochores, the fibres contract to bring about separation of chromosomes which are finally pulled to the two poles to repeat the process of uncoiling of chromosomes. The chromosomes then enter into interphase. Meiosis II has greater resemblance to mitosis with regard to the fact that both involve separation of sister chromatids during nuclear division.





1. Occurs in somatic cells of haploid as well as diploid individuals


1. Occurs in the reproductive cells of only diploid individuals.


2. It may occur in the reproductive cells of gametophytic individuals such as antheredia and archegonia of moss

and ferns.


2. It is absent in gametophytes.



3. Every DNA replication is followed by a nuclear division thus maintaining the consistency in the number of chromosomes and the amount of DNA from generation to generation.


3. Each DNA replication is followed by two nuclear divisions, thus, finally, daughter cells contain half as many chromosomes and half as much DNA as possessed by the parent cell.


4. Interphase represents distinct G1, S and G2 periods.


4. G2 period seems to be missing or may be comparable to early part of prophase I.


5. Behaviour of one chromosome is independent of the behaviour of any other chromosome.


5. Homologous chromosomes form pairs in zygonema of prophase I.


6. In metaphase, centromeres of the chromosomes lie at the metaphase plate and the arms are free.


6. The centromeres of bivalents, arrange themselves in such a way that they lie one on either side of the metaphase plate, pointing towards opposite poles.


7. Events such as crossing over do not occur.


7. Crossing over occurs between the non-sister chromatids of homologous chromosomes.


8. Prophase lasts only for a short period.


8. Prophase I is considerably longer, however, prophase II may be sometimes absent.


9. The two daughter nuclei produced are genetically identical to their parent nucleus.


9. Four daughter nuclei produced are genetically different from the parent nucleus.


10. Centromeres divide at late metaphase and then allow separation of sister chromatids of chromosomes in anaphase.

10. Undivided centromeres separate at metaphase I but centromeres divide in metaphase II and help in the separation of sister chromatids.

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