Mitosis is, in general terms, an asexual reproduction process, unlike meiosis. There are actually five stages or phases of mitosis, not four. These are:
- Interphase: This is the phase when a cell prepares itself for division and is further subdivided into G1, S and G2 phases. Interphase consumes the maximum amount of mitotic time and in this phase, the cell consumes nutrients, grows in size, reads DNA and carries out normal cell operations.
- Prophase: In this phase, a cell prepares to divide by condensing chromatin to form identical copies of chromosomes. Nucleolus also dissolves.
- Metaphase: The chromosomes get aligned along the metaphase plane, an imaginary plane located at about the mid-line of the cell.
- Anaphase: This phase involves the splitting of chromosomes and the elongation of cell takes place.
- Telophase: Decondensing chromosomes are surrounded by the nuclear envelope, completing mitosis.