Differences between Mitosis and Meiosis

Cell division is a fundamental process for life. It is useful not only to generate new cells but also helps in growth and development. This cell division can take place through 2 different modes - Mitosis and Meiosis. We are about to look at a few characteristics, the basic definitions and the difference between mitosis and meiosis. 


Introduction

Cell reproduction is the process of creating new species using a single parent cell. However, this process is different in unicellular and multicellular organisms. 

Unicellular organisms perform cell reproduction or division to generate daughter cells. Multicellular organisms perform cell division to enhance growth and replace worn-out cells from the body. 


To put it straight, mitosis creates new body cells, whereas meiosis generates sperm and egg cells. 


Mitosis and Meiosis

Mitosis is a core process that replicates all of its content, including duplication of its chromosomes. The result is two identical daughter cells. Mitosis is a critical process to life, and hence this is controlled by several genes. 

If the genes are not regulated properly, it might cause serious health issues in humans, such as cancer. 


Meiosis, on the other side, will create copies that have the same number of chromosomes in humans (in all generations). Meiosis is a two-step procedure, reducing the chromosome number by half. The result of this process is the formation of egg and sperm cells, with chromosome count from 46 to 23. This is a reason why the human embryo has 46 chromosomes from birth (conception of egg and sperm). 


Chances are likely in meiosis to exhibit genetic variations from DNA shuffling. 


Following is a table to quickly describe the differences in mitosis vs meiosis.

Difference between Mitosis and Meiosis Table

MITOSIS 

MEIOSIS

During the Interphase stage, genetically identical sister chromosomes formed, due to the replication of each chromosome. 

At Interphase, the DNA will be duplicated but the chromosome is not visible.

Homologous sister chromosomes appear in pairs at Prophase 1. Chiasmata is the term used to refer for the crossing-over of non-sister chromatids. 

At Prophase, Mitotic spindle forms after the development of 2 identical sister chromatids. 

Chromosomes get arranged and adjusted with the Metaphase plate.

Chromosomes get organized at the Metaphase plate’s equator. 

At Anaphase, homologous pairs move away as reverse poles.

Contraction of sister fibres being at Anaphase and sets of daughter cells are observed at each pole. 

4 daughter cells with half the count of parent chromosomes.

2 daughter cells with the same count of parent chromosomes.


Mitosis Overview

  1. Cell duplication and distribution is the aim of Mitosis.

  2. This is an asexual mode of reproduction.  

  3. Nuclei forms in 4 stages namely prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase.

  4. 2 diploid cells are formed. 

  5. Spindle fibres disconnect after sister chromatids get separated. 


Meiosis Overview

  1. Meiosis is a form of sexual reproduction.  

  2. The resulting daughter cells are reduced in their chromosome number by half. 

  3. Eukaryotic chromosomes are formed. 

  4. Similar to mitosis, S-Phase is dominant in meiosis form of cell replication.

  5. A cell undergoing meiosis will either become human sperm or egg. 


Similarities Between Mitosis and Meiosis

Apart from its cell division or reproductive processes, there are 3-4 similarities between meiosis and mitosis. DNA synthesis is primarily common to both. If already formed, the cardiac tissues and nervous system cells will never replicate its daughter/sister cells either through meiosis or mitosis. Both these methods of reproduction are visible under an electron microscope. 

Conclusion

Both mitosis and meiosis have their roles in human development and genetic message transmission. Credits to ‘Walther Flemming’ for the discovery of mitosis and helping new cells grow and nurture. Also, thanks to the brain of ‘Oscar Hertwig’ for uncovering meiosis and making continuity of required cells possible with definite DNA variants. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is mitosis and meiosis?

Mitosis and meiosis are cell division processes that occur either sexually or asexually to create new cells and help in the growth of existing cells.

2. Give 1 significant factor for mitosis and meiosis difference.

The core of mitosis is to repair non-existent cells and meiosis is focussed to create new daughter cells with half the count of parent chromosomes.

3. What are the 5 stages under Prophase 1?

Prophase 1 is divided into 5 stages namely Leptotene, Zygotene, Pachytene, Diplotene and Diakinesis.