Although mitosis and meiosis are similar, they differ in certain ways. Both processes have an association with cytokinesis and they result to daughter cells produced by a parent cell. In both mitosis and meiosis, events have a sequential process in which the nuclear membrane is broken down. Genetic material is also broken into two groups after which cell division and nuclear membrane reformation takes place in each cell.
Nevertheless, the two processes have some differences. In most part of mitosis, diploid cells undergo partitioning which produces two diploid cells. In meiosis, partitioning produces four haploid cells. In meiosis, crossing over takes place which makes the cells different. In mitosis, daughter cells are identical.
During meiosis, homologous chromosomes pair up, cross over and then they line up along metaphase plate in the tetrads. This does not occur in mitosis which makes the daughter cells identical. Mitosis and meiosis II cannot be viewed as reduction divisions like meiosis I. This is because chromosomes number is not altered. This explains why meiosis II is called equatorial division.
In meiosis, genetic separation takes two rounds of cellular division and genetic separation while in mitosis there is only one round of cellular division and genetic separation. Non-genetically identical daughter cells are produced in meiosis after a separation of homologous chromosomes while identical daughter cells are produced in mitosis. The cells are identical to each other and to their parent cell.
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While the number of chromosomes of the daughter cells in meiosis is half the total number of chromosomes of the parent cell, in mitosis the number is the same.
During meiosis I, homologous chromosomes are separated and they move towards opposite poles. This results to reduction in the level of ploidy from two to one. Ploidy is the chromosomes sets number in the chromosomes of a cell. The cell division or the first two cell divisions that take place during meiosis are known as reduction division.
In mitosis, reduction division does not take place. The process is preceded by an S-phase where the amount of DNA in the parental cell is duplicated. No crossing over or DNA exchange between the chromosomes takes place. This makes the daughter cells identical to each other and to the parental cells.
In a nut shell, mitosis is a one sequence process that takes place in somatic cells while meiosis is a two sequences process that takes place in reproductive cells. Mitosis helps in asexual reproduction while meiosis helps in sexual reproduction of living organisms.
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