12 Differences Between Mitosis and Meiosis

Cell division is a process by which new cells are formed from old ones.

The cellular components, especially the paired DNA strands (chromatids) split apart and again form into two new paired sets.

This formation occurs by two different methods, viz. mitosis and meiosis.

All the somatic cells of animals or plants undergo division by mitosis.

While the germinal cells which are responsible for sexual reproduction, undergo meiosis.

Both process has 4 steps in common, viz.difference between mitosis and meiosis

  1. Prophase
  2. Metaphase
  3. Anaphase
  4. Telophase

Before going to the differences, you must read the details on mitosis and meiosis.

The Difference Between Mitosis and Meiosis

Differences Mitosis Meiosis
Occurrence It occurs in both Haploid cells and diploid cells It occurs only in diploid cells.
Type of cell involved All body cells or vegetative cells or somatic cells are involved. It occurs only in reproductive cells or germinal cells.
Nucleus division Nucleus divides once Here nucleus divides twice to produce 4 nuclei
Similarities of daughter cells Daughter cells are identical to mother cells Daughter cells are not identical
Number of new cells formed. Two daughter cells are formed. Four daughter cells are formed.
Prophase Prophase is simple Prophase is complicated with many steps.
Chromosome pairing Chromosomes do not pair Homologous chromosomes (similar) pair to form bivalent ones.
Chiasmata and crossing over Chiasmata is absent; Also, there is no crossing over Chiasmata present. Crossing over between non-sister chromatids occurs.
Centromeres Centromeres undergo division in anaphase centromeres do not divide in anaphase-1 but divide in anaphase-2
Chromosome number in daughter cells Chromosome number in the daughter cell is unchanged. Chromosome number is reduced to half of the parent cell.
Time duration for process The entire cell division is short comparatively. Duration of cell division is very large as it involves many steps.
Uses For the growth of the body and in lower forms like bacteria, multiply organism numbers. To help in gamete formation for sexual reproduction.

Thus the above chart ends here. It is very interesting to note that new cells are also formed without any of these two processes. Some divide by other methods completely devoid of these two processes. Ex: bacterial reproduction. Where cells form spores to give out a single cell from mother cells.

Also, the division of cells occurs in all the cells of the body except in the nerve cells of animals. Once they are formed during childhood, they never divide again in a lifetime.

The entire procedure takes some time and this time for division varies among animals and plants.

As the cells keep on dividing, they lose their ability further and age. Hence human cells, after 50 divisions or so, die, leading to aging of the body. So the decrease in the rate of division may enhance the life span of the individual.

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