Q:

How do mitosis and meiosis compare and contrast?

A:

Quick Answer

Mitosis is the division of a cell to create two identical daughter cells, whereas meiosis forms daughter cells that are different than the parent cell. Mitosis is a means of replacing old cells; meiosis forms sex cells, or gametes.

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Full Answer

At the beginning of mitosis, chromosomes become visible in the nucleus of the cell. The nuclear membrane dissolves and special fibers, the spindle, line the chromosomes up across the middle of the cell. Pairs of chromosomes move to opposite ends of the cell and new nuclear envelopes form around them. The chromosomes decondense, becoming invisible again as the entire cell splits down the middle. The result of this process is two identical daughter cells.

The beginning of meiosis is similar to mitosis, except that homologous, or like, chromosomes pair up. The chromosome pairs consist of one chromosome of each parent. Like mitosis, the nuclear envelope disappears and spindle fibers form to align chromosomes and pull them to opposite ends of the cell. The alignment of homologous chromosomes in meiosis is random, meaning that daughter cells can get chromosomes from either parent. This is one source of genetic diversity in sexual reproduction. Another source is that the homologous chromosomes, while in their pairs, trade genetic material with one another, further increasing genetic diversity. Meiosis ends much like mitosis, but instead of identical cells, the result is two distinctly different daughter cells.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How many chromosomes are in each daughter cell at the end of mitosis?

    A:

    In human cell mitosis, each daughter cell will have the same number of chromosomes as the parent cell, which is 46 chromosomes. If the parent cell is diploid, it has two sets of chromosomes, or a total of 46. If it is haploid, such as sperms and eggs, they have one set of chromosomes, or just 23.

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  • Q:

    How do daughter cells compare to the parent cell?

    A:

    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.

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  • Q:

    During what phase of mitosis are daughter cells produced?

    A:

    The division of a parent cell into two identical daughter cells does not occur during any of the phases of mitosis. Rather, this physical separation occurs during cytokinesis, a process that takes place right after mitosis.

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  • Q:

    What are mitosis and meiosis?

    A:

    Mitosis and meiosis are biological functions that create cell division and enable reproduction. These two processes are similar in that they produce offspring cells, but differ in the type of cells they produce. While mitosis results in the generation of two identical daughter cells that originate from single parent cells, meiosis involves the fission of two nuclei, which produces four gametes.

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