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Overview of the Role of Mitosis

In the grand scheme of cellular life the stages of mitosis is simply
responsible for the regeneration of cells in the exact form as its
predecessor or parent cell. Thanks to mitosis mammals are able to
continuously regenerate skin, hair, red blood cells, and repair wounds.
We can even regenerate our liver to its original size from only 20
percent of its original mass through a form of mitosis known as mass
proliferation. If your are interested in manipulating mitosis by the end of
this article you might want to look at Genetic Engineering of children
before they are born.
Preparation for Mitosis
Before mitosis can divide the DNA and organelles into 2 equal daughter
cells, the cell must prepare itself. Right before mitosis occurs the cell is
in a state known as interphase (“between phases”). During interphase the
cell makes a copy of all its DNA. Please see my article about Interphase
if you are unfamiliar with how this happens. Now that the cell has
duplicated its DNA and organelles it can proceed into Mitosis.
Simplified Stages of Mitosis and Cytokinesis:
During the prophase stage of mitosis the duplicated DNA condenses into
compact structures known as chromosomes. Remember the DNA has
already been duplicated. While the DNA is condensing into
chromosomes, the nuclear envelope surrounding the DNA begins to
break down. This happens so the DNA compacted into these
chromosome structures can be accessed by the rest of the cell.


In the metaphase stage of mitosis the chromosomes align in the center of

the cell called the equatorial plate (like the equator of the Earth).
Organelles known as centrioles move to the polar ends of the cell and
project thin spindle fibers to connect to the center (centromeres) of each
chromosome. Essentially the cell is grabbing each chromosomes at its
center so it can pull it into equal pieces.


While in the anaphase stage of mitosis the centrioles will begin to pull
each chromosome into two halves called sister chromatids. Each
chromatid contains the same information


Finally in the Telophase stage of mitosis the nuclear membrane forms

around the chromatids and they are completely located at opposite ends
of the cell.


Usually after Telophase the cell will also divide its cytoplasm and pinch
off into two separate but identical daughter cells. Each daughter cell is
an exact copy of the parent cell before the DNA was duplicated during
NO: 2

Mitosis is divided into five phases:

1. Interphase:

 The DNA in the cell is copied in preparation for cell division, this
results in two identical full sets of chromosomes?.
 Outside of the nucleus? are two centrosomes, each containing a
pair of centrioles, these structures are critical for the process of cell
 During interphase, microtubules extend from these centrosomes.

2. Prophase:

 The chromosomes condense into X-shaped structures that can be

easily seen under a microscope.
 Each chromosome is composed of two sister chromatids,
containing identical genetic information.
 The chromosomes pair up so that both copies of chromosome 1 are
together, both copies of chromosome 2 are together, and so on.
 At the end of prophase the membrane around the nucleus in the
cell dissolves away releasing the chromosomes.
 The mitotic spindle, consisting of the microtubules and other
proteins, extends across the cell between the centrioles as they
move to opposite poles of the cell.

3. Metaphase:

 The chromosomes line up neatly end-to-end along the centre

(equator) of the cell.
 The centrioles are now at opposite poles of the cell with the mitotic
spindle fibres extending from them.
 The mitotic spindle fibres attach to each of the sister chromatids.
4. Anaphase:

 The sister chromatids are then pulled apart by the mitotic spindle
which pulls one chromatid to one pole and the other chromatid to
the opposite pole.

5. Telophase:

 At each pole of the cell a full set of chromosomes gather together.

 A membrane forms around each set of chromosomes to create two
new nuclei.
 The single cell then pinches in the middle to form two separate
daughter cells each containing a full set of chromosomes within a
nucleus. This process is known as cytokinesis.