Cell Division


  • Mitosis - a type of cell division that results in two daughter cells each having the same number and kind of chromosomes as the parent nucleus, typical of ordinary tissue growth. Mitosis happens regularly, in all eukaryotic cells.

  • Interphase - The resting phase (first phase, longest phase) between mitotic divisions of a cell, or between the first and second divisions of meiosis. (The prefix "_inter_ means "between, among, during,")

  • Prophase - the first stage of cell division, during which the chromosomes become visible as paired chromatids and the nuclear envelope disappears. (The prefix "_pro_" means ""before, in front of, sooner".)

  • Metaphase - Tthe second stage of cell division, during which the chromosomes become attached to the spindle fibers. (The prefix "_meta_ means "in the midst of, in the middle of".)

  • Anaphase - The stage of cell division (meiotic or mitotic) in which the chromosomes move away from one another to opposite poles of the spindle. (The prefix "_ana_" means "back, backwards".)

  • Telophase - The final phase of cell nuclear division, in which the chromatids or chromosomes move to opposite ends of the cell and two nuclei are formed. (The prefix "_telo_ " means "the end, fulfillment, completion".)

  • Cytokinesis - the cytoplasmic division of a cell at the end of mitosis or meiosis, bringing about the separation into two daughter cells. (The word cytokinesis uses combining forms of cyto- + kine- + -sis, New Latin from Classical Latin and Ancient Greek, reflecting "cell" and kinesis ("motion, movement").)

  • Centriole - a minute cylindrical organelle near the nucleus in animal cells, occurring in pairs and involved in the development of spindle fibers in cell division.

  • Chromatin - The material that chromosomes of eukaryotic organisms are made of. It consists of protein, RNA, and DNA.

  • Chromosome - A threadlike structure of nucleic acids and protein found in the nucleus of most living cells, carrying genetic information in the form of genes.

  • Chromatid - One of the two threadlike strands into which a chromosome divides (longitudinally) during cell division. Each contains a double helix of DNA.

  • Sister Chromatids - The two identical copies (chromatids) formed by the replication of a chromosome, with both copies joined together. In other words, a sister chromatid may also be said to be 'one-half' of the duplicated chromosome.

(The prefix "chroma" comes from the Greek word for "color". Chromosomes ("color" + "bidy" are named for the way they are stained under a microscope.)

  • Replication - The biological process of producing two identical replicas (copies) of DNA from one original DNA molecule.

  • Parent Cell - A cell that is the source of other cells; the cell that divides to form two daugter cells.

  • Daughter Cells - The two cells formed when a (parent) cell undergoes cell division by mitosis and cytokinesis. Daughter cells are genetically identical to the parent cell because they contain the same number and type of chromosomes. (The name does not imply that these cells are "female".)




G-banded chromosomes as seen under a light microscope

Mitosis in Onion Cells

General view of cells in the growing root-tip of the onion, from a longitudinal section, enlarged 800 diameters. a. non-dividing cells, with chromatin-network and deeply stained nucleoli; b. nuclei preparing for division (spireme-stage); c. dividing cells showing mitotic figures; e. pair of daughter-cells shortly after division. (Wikipedia)
Topic revision: r5 - 10 Apr 2018, VickiBrown

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