How are mitosis and meiosis similar and different?

Quick answer:

The principal difference between mitosis and meiosis is that mitosis involves a single round of division, which produces two identical daughter cells in which all its contents are identical. Meiosis involves two rounds of division that ultimately result in four cells, each with half the number of chromosomes as the original parent cell.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Similarities between mitosis and meiosis:

Both mitosis and meiosis are processes of cell division. They use the same steps for cell division, including prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase.

Differences between mitosis and meiosis:

Mitosis is the process of asexual reproduction, while meiosis involves sexual reproduction. Higher life forms, such human beings and animals undergo meiosis. The resulting offspring is genetically different in the case of meiosis, while the offspring is identical in the case of mitosis. Meiosis includes two steps of division, compared to the single step of mitosis. During the process of meiosis, the number of chromosomes is reduced by half, while in mitosis, they remain the same. Also, mitosis produces 2 diploid cells, while meiosis produces 4 haploid cells.

Hope this helps.

Approved by eNotes Editorial
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What is the principal difference between mitosis and meiosis?

Mitosis and meiosis are both processes of cell division. Mitosis is a very essential process for life, and the steps are very carefully regulated because health problems can occur if the steps in mitosis are not correctly followed.

Mitosis primarily results in the transfer of the complete set of genes in a parent's cell into two identical daughter cells. The parent cell achieves this by making a copy of each chromosome contained in the cell. A chromosome is made up of tightly coiled DNA, which contains genetic information required by the cell to function properly.

The duplication of the chromosome is a series of complex steps which begins with its condensation. It eventually progresses to the formation of two identical sister chromatids attached to each other through the centromere, which is a stretch of DNA that forms protein complexes. The whole process of mitosis takes place very quickly.

On the other hand, meiosis is a slower process. It is a two-step process which ultimately results in four cells. The process starts with a diploid cell containing two copies of each chromosome. The cell undergoes DNA replication consisting of two identical sister chromatids before proceeding to a second division. At the end, the process produces four genetically unique cells, each with half the number of chromosomes as the parent cell. This two step process allows for genetic variation by a process of genetic shuffling that occurs while the cells divide.

Last Updated on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What is the difference between mitosis and meiosis?

Differences between mitosis and meiosis include differences in stages and different end products.

The cell cycle is a sequential event that includes karyokinesis and cytokinesis.

There are two types of cell cycles: mitosis and meiosis.

Mitosis is a type of cell division that occurs in diploid somatic cells. It's an equational division, where the number of chromosomes in the parental generation are same as that of daughter cells. The end result of mitosis brings about two daughter cells with no variations produced. Hence, these cells are termed "clones."

Mitosis includes substages: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase

Meiosis is a type of cell division that reduces the number of chromosomes to half and thus produces four haploid daughter cells. In meiosis, recombination occurs between homologous chromosomes and thus produces variations in daughter cells.

There are two types of meiosis: meiosis I and meiosis II.

Meiosis I includes substages prophase I, metaphase I , anaphase I, and telophase I. The result of meiosis is the production of two daughter cells with half the number of chromosomes as that of the parental cells.

Meiosis II is equational and results in four haploid daughter cells.

Last Updated on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What is the difference between meiosis and mitosis?

In mitotic cell division, a diploid cell gives rise to two daughter cells, genetically identical to the parent cell with the exact same number of chromosomes. This is accomplished because DNA, the material in the chromosomes is replicated before mitotic division occurs. After going through many steps, the cell ultimately pinches into two smaller daughter cells, each with the same number of chromosomes as the parent cell. This process is used by protists and bacteria, yeasts, mold and other organisms that reproduce asexually to produce offspring. Mitosis is how our bodies make new cells when growth occurs or to repair worn out cells. Meiosis, on the other hand is a reduction division. In this process, a diploid cell in a gonad (testes or ovary) undergoes a special type of cell division resulting in four haploid gametes or sex cells. In meiosis, replication of the chromosomes occurs. After many steps and two rounds of cell division, the end result is the production of gametes, sperms or eggs with half the chromosomes of the original cell that underwent meiosis. Essentially, meiosis makes sex cells in sexually reproducing organisms with half the chromosomes of that species. By uniting a sperm cell with an egg cell, the diploid condition is restored through the process of fertilization.

Last Updated on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What's the difference between meiosis and mitosis?

Mitosis and meiosis are both forms of cell division whereby one cell becomes two or more separate cells.  Mitosis occurs in somatic cells (non-sex cells) that make up most of the cells in a eukaryotic organism.  It is generally divided into 4 different phases: prophase, anaphase, metaphase, and telophase.  After the DNA in the cell is replicated into identical sets of chromosomes, the separate sets of chromosomes are separated into two new separate nuclei and the cell divides in half to produce two new cells each with the same 23 pairs of identical chromosomes.  So one cell becomes two identical cells.

Meiosis is used for the division of sex cells (called gametes).  There are two main differences between meiosis and mitosis.  The first is that the newly produced chromosomes are "mixed" in that they are not identical copies but different combinations of DNA.  The second is that there are two division events, thus producing four cells instead of two like mitosis.  Each of the four new cells are called haploid since they have half the number of chromosomes as in a normal cell (23 versus 46 for humans).  This is because when the sperm and egg gametes join in sexual reproduction, they form a new cell with 46 total chromosomes (half from the mother and half from the father), thus mixing the DNA from two different organisms. 

Last Updated on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What are the differences between Meiosis and Mitosis?

In addition, it should be noted that during meiotic division, the diploid chromosome number(2n) found in somatic cells, is reduced to the haploid(n) number, found in the gametes or reproductive cells. It should also be noted that during meiotic division, a very important step called crossing over occurs, resulting in a re-shuffling of genes that leads to variation not only within a species, but, within a family. Homologous chromosomes align themselves in tetrads--groups of four and exchange pieces of DNA. This important stage only occurs in prophase during meiosis and not in mitosis. 

Last Updated on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

How is mitosis different from meiosis?

Meiosis is the process by which reproductive cells divide twice to form four daughter cells. Each of these daughter cells are called haploid because they contain half as much genetic information (chromosomes) as the original cell. To remember this, try to think of HAPloid as HALFloid. The daughter cells that are created become gametes (eggs and sperm). This is why you have half your genetic information from your maternal line and half from your paternal line. 

Mitosis takes place in somatic cells (any cells that are not reproductive). In mitosis, one cell divides into two identical daughter cells. These cells will replace worn out cells or facilitate growth. You can remember mitosis' connection to somatic cells by thinking of it as miTOEsis, as it would occur in the cells in your toe rather than your reproductive cells. 

Last Updated on
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

What's the difference between mitosis and meiosis?  

Mitosis is cell division of a diploid cell resulting in two identical diploid daughter cells. The chromosomes are replicated before mitosis begins during the S phase of interphase. This ensures a complete set of chromosomes will be distributed to each daughter cell at the end of cell division. 

The steps of mitosis are prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase, followed by cytoplasmic division--cytokinesis. At the end of this process, the resulting daughter cells will be smaller than the parent cell but genetically identical. 

Meiosis is known as a reduction division. It is a special type of cell division that occurs in the gonads-female ovaries or male testes. These are sex organs that produce haploid gametes known as sperm or eggs.

A germ cell in the gonads contains the diploid amount of chromosomes for that species. Replication of the chromosomes occurs before meiosis begins. There are two rounds of cell division--meiosis I and meiosis II. The same steps are followed as in mitosis-prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase for two rounds of cell division.

In prophase I, the chromosomes form homologous pairs in groups of four known as tetrads. Crossing over occurs between non-sister chromosomes. This is an exchange of genetic material and is like shuffling the genes resulting in great variation in the gametes that will form later.  The end result of meiosis is four haploid cells--four sperms in males or one egg and three polar bodies in females.

Meiotic cell division produces haploid gametes and when two gametes fuse together during fertilization, the resulting zygote will have the diploid amount of chromosomes once again.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Last Updated on