Cellular division, or mitosis, produces two daughter cells that are identical to the parent cell. As explained by Clinton Community College, mitosis allows multicellular organisms to grow and repair damaged tissue. Daughter cells are also produced during meiosis, which is a special type of cell division that enables organisms to sexually reproduce. Daughter cells produced in meiosis have one half the number of chromosomes as the parent cell.
Preparing for mitosis, a cell produces a copy of its DNA. During mitosis, DNA coils into condensed chromatid pairs known as chromosomes. Throughout various phases of mitosis, these chromatid pairs are separated to opposite sides of the cell and this parent cell divides into two separate, but identical, daughter cells. Each daughter cell contains one half of the chromatid pair, or DNA. Meiosis, however, involves two divisions that produce a total of four daughter cells. During both meiosis I and meiosis II, cells undergo the same phases found in mitosis, but the processes and results are different. Within meiosis I, homologous chromosomes become paired and crossing over occurs. Homologous pairs are separated, and the two resulting daughter cells have half as many chromosomes per cell. The two daughter cells produced from meiosis I enter meiosis II where they each are divided again to produce a total of four haploid daughter cells.