Mitosis vs. Meiosis: Key Differences, Diagram and Venn Diagram (2023)

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For organisms to grow, cells have two choices: either they must replicate to create more cells, or the cells themselves must increase in volume. In humans, tissues such as skin and blood contain cells that areactively share, while other tissues, such as fat, contain cells thatexpand(Good if you need energy for the winter, bad if you're trying to fit into expensive jeans). Other cells, like neurons, will never divide again after they finally differentiate; they arepostmitotic.

When replicating, cells have another choice: Do they want to make an identical copy and have two cells? Or do they want to make four "half copies" in preparation for sexual reproduction, where their genetic content is reconstituted through the fertilization process? This choice is the choice betweenMitosisEMeiosis.

(Video) Mitosis vs Meiosis Venn Diagram

mitosis and meiosis

There are two types of cell division: mitosis and meiosis. Mitosis is the process by which cells in the body divide and make copies of themselves for growth and repair. In meiosis, the new cells have half the genetic material of the parent cell and is the process by which eggs and sperm are formed.

Difference between mitosis and meiosis

This article examines the properties of both types of cell division, highlighting how they are similar and the key ways in which they differ. We'll also explore research into these processes and how cell division can go wrong to cause diseases like cancer and Down syndrome.

Mitosis vs. Meiosis: Key Differences, Diagram and Venn Diagram (1)


Mitosis vs Meiosis: Overview and FAQ



What is the purpose of this process?

In a single-celled organism, the purpose of mitosis ismultiplyas a species. In a multicellular organism, the goal may beto growduring development, or tofixorregenerated
damaged tissue, for example.
In preparation for creating gametes with only one copy of the organism's genetic informationsexual reproduction. Several steps in meiosis create opportunities forGenetical diversityin daughter cells. This is the raw substrate for evolution.

What is the result of this process?

two diploidscells withidenticalGenetic information.
sex haploidecells withandersGenetic information.

Which organisms carry out this process?

Mitosis is carried out by unicellular and multicellular eukaryotes. Bacteria have their own version of mitosis called mitosis."cell division". This differs from meiosis in that bacteria normally have a circular chromosome, which is not contained in the nucleus of the cell like eukaryotic chromosomes.
Only organizations that carry outsexual reproduction. Archaea and bacteria don't, so it might be tempting to think that single-celled organisms don't reproduce sexually. However, there are exceptions; Sprouting yeast forms haploid spores when food is lacking.

How long does this process take?

Mitosis is generally shorter than meiosis. The process can take more than 10 hours for cultured mammalian cells [2], yeast can take about 80 minutes to complete a cell cycle [3], while bacteria can divide every 20 minutes.
Meiosis has different timescales in different organisms, which can be influenced by many factors, including the temperature and environment of the organism and the amount of nuclear DNA. The process takes 6 hours in yeast, but can take over 40 years in human females due to a developmental arrest in prophase I before ovulation. Other examples include 1-2 days in male fruit flies and ~24 days in human males. [1]

What is an example of illness caused by an error in this process?

Uncontrolled mitosis occurs in cancer, where genes that stop cell division (tumor suppressors) are turned off, or genes that stimulate cell division (Os oncogenes) are hyperactive.
Mistakes in meiosis can result in the wrong number of chromosomes ending up in gametes, they sayAneuploidy. This can trigger a miscarriage, but is occasionally tolerated. An example isDown syndrome, caused by trisomy 21. Another example isKlinefelter syndrome, where XY males have an extra X chromosome.


Mitosis is the Greek word forfio, after filamentous chromosomes seen under the microscope in cells stained with dye during cell division.
Meiosis means "reduction" in Greece. This refers to the result of meiosis, in which genetic information is halved in each new cell.

First described by?

Walther Flemming in his work "Cell Substance, Cell Nucleus and Cell Division" from 1882. [5]
In 1876, Oskar Hertwig described the fusion of egg and sperm in the transparent sea urchin egg. [4]

Scenario for Mitosis vs. Meiosis

(Video) Mitosis vs. Meiosis: Side by Side Comparison

Cell division occurs as part of the "cell cycle". Just as your day has an overnight routine, cells have their own routines. The cell cycle is generally described as having four main phases: G1, S phase, G2, and mitosis (or meiosis). Cells can also take a break from the cell cycle routine, in a state called G0 or senescence (note that some cells are in G0 permanently). External growth factors can stimulate cells in G1 or G0 to go through the rest of the cycle, an example is nerve growth factor (NGF), which promotes the growth of neurons. The point of restriction is a special "point of no return" in G1, when cells stop responding to the removal of growth factors and continue to progress to S phase, come what may. There are also internal signals that tell the cell to progress, these proteins are called cyclins and the cyclin that promotes mitosis is called cyclin B. The S phase is particularly important as it is the point at which the entire genome of the cell is duplicated through the process of semi-conservative DNA replication.

The stages of mitosis vs. meiosis

The stages of mitosis are interphase, prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase, sometimes followed by cytokinesis. "Interphase" is a generic term that describes all the stages before mitosis, namely: G1, S and G2 phase. The phases of meiosis are interphase, prophase I, metaphase I, anaphase I, telophase I, cytokinesis I, prophase II, metaphase II, anaphase II, telophase II and finally cytokinesis II. See our detailed explanation below:


Both meiosis and mitosis have aProphase,metaphase,anaphase,TelofesEcytokinesis.

In meiosis there is prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase.twice. The first round of division is special, but the second round is more like mitosis.

In mitosis there is prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase.once.


chromosomescondenseand centrosomes begin to formearly time zone.

  • Meiotic prophase I ismuch more timethis mitotic prophase.
  • During prophase I, homologous chromosomes come into contact with each otherchiasmaand a "crossover" occurs. This is where chromosomes exchange sections of DNA. This is important for the generationGenetical diversitybut it is also essentialmechanicallykeep homologous chromosomes together.
  • The mitotic prophase ismuch shorterthis meiotic prophase I
  • There isno tramplingbei Mitose.


In metaphase II of meiosis and metaphase of mitosis, the chromosomes line up along the metaphase plate due to the action ofMicrotubule-Spindelphasesernfrom thein centrosomeslocated at opposite poles of the cell. These fibers are attached to chromosomes.KinetochorenNoCentromerethe chromosomes.

  • In meiotic metaphase IHomologous chromosome pairsalign along the metaphase plate.
  • The random orientation of homologous pairs at the poles of the cell is calledLaw of Independent Assortmentand ensures a random and independent distribution of chromosomes to the daughter cells of meiosis I and finally to the haploid gametes at the end of meiosis II.
  • In mitotic metaphase, a single chromosome/Pair of Chromatidsalign along the metaphase plate.
  • Sister chromatids are identicaland therefore the orientation of the chromosome is meaningless.


In anaphase, the chromosomes are divided at opposite poles of the cell.

  • In the anaphase of meiosis Icohesionat the centromeres of chromosomesis not dividedand therefore continues to hold the sister chromatids together as thehomologous chromosomeare separated into opposite cell poles.
  • In the anaphase of mitosis (and meiosis II),cohesionProtein that holds the centromeres of sister chromatids togetherto divide, allowing the sister chromatids todivided into opposite poles of the cell, at which point they are called chromosomes.


AKernmembraneNameReforms are being made around the newly separated chromosomes that are starting to unravelcondense less. Spindle microtubules dissociate. Each daughter cell inherits a centrosome.


The plasma membrane of the cellpinches, to leavetwo daughter cellswith separate plasma membranes.

  • In cytokinesis meiosismust happen twice: once after telophase I and again after telophase II.
  • In the cytokinesis of mitosisdoes not always occur, some cells divide and aremulticorelike muscle cells.

memory tricks

Another way to understand the progress of mitosis and meiosis is to think of what happens to the chromosomes, centrosomes, nuclear membrane, and cytoplasmic membrane at each stage of the process. Here we show you how to do this for mitosis, why not try to recreate this table for meiosis?

Mnemonics are also useful, for example a useful mnemonic for remembering the order of steps in mitosis is "EU PreferMourATTTime to eat" -Cmillionaire.

Mitosis vs. Meiosis: Key Differences, Diagram and Venn Diagram (2)

(Video) Mitosis Vs Meiosis | Differences | Don't Memorise

(CC) Brian Solis, Licensed under the terms ofCC-BY-2.0

intermediate phaseThey are not condensed, but still organized. The entire genome is replicated to create two identical semi-conserved copies of each chromosome.
ProphaseCondense. Duplicated chromosomes are called sister chromatids.
metaphaseAlign along the metaphase plate, the midpoint between the two centrosomes. The sister chromatids are linked at the centromere by proteins that form a structure called the kinetochore.
anaphaseCohesin is cleaved at the centromere of chromosomes, causing sister chromatids to be attracted to opposite poles of the cell.
TelofesChromosomes begin to unwind and become less condensed.
cytokinesisThe chromosomes returned to their interphase structure. This is the subject of much research, but it appears that each chromosome occupies its own territory within the nucleus.
Mitose-Stadiumin centrosomes
intermediate phaseThe centrosome is duplicated.
ProphaseMicrotubules begin to form an initial mitotic spindle between the duplicated centrosomes.
metaphaseThe two centrosomes are now at opposite poles of the cell.
anaphaseThe microtubules radiating from the centrosomes shrink when the tension holding the chromosomes at the metaphase plate is broken by cohesin cleavage.
TelofesCentrosomes remain separate on opposite sides of the cell. Each daughter cell receives a centrosome consisting of two centrioles.
cytokinesisThe centrosomes signal the cell that it's okay to proceed with cytokinesis. Research shows that cells in which the centrosomes have been destroyed with a laser beam cannot undergo cytokinesis.
intermediate phaseIntact.
metaphaseIn higher eukaryotes, such as vertebrates, the nuclear envelope has collapsed at the time of metaphase. This is caused by phosphorylation of nuclear lamin proteins.
TelofesA nuclear envelope forms around the chromosomes in each daughter cell.
Mitose-Stadiumplasma membrane
intermediate phaseIntact.
cytokinesisPinch to form two separate membranes around the two daughter cells.

Mitose x Meiose Venn Diagram

Mitosis vs. Meiosis: Key Differences, Diagram and Venn Diagram (3)

Active search questions

The process of cell division is an intricate dance of molecular machinery that has fascinated researchers for hundreds of years. Advances in microscopy have had a tremendous impact on the field, from its humble beginnings looking at metaphase chromosomes under light microscopy to more modern technologies that can now ask questions at the molecular level. Cell cycle research was also rewarded with the 2001 Nobel Prize in Physiology/Medicine to Tim Hunt, Paul Nurse and Leland Hartwell for their joint discoverycyclinECyclin-dependent kinases: the main regulators of the cell cycle [6]. Despite our progress, however, many questions remain.

How do cells promote faithful chromosome segregation during mitosis?

While there is only one way for mitosis to go right, there are many ways for it to go wrong. For example, when there are improper contacts between microtubules and chromosomes early in mitosis, the chromosomes can become misaligned, which can lead to improper separation of sister chromatids. In late mitosis, how can the cell be sure that the time is right to perform cytokinesis? The passenger chromosome complex (CPC) is a molecular guardian angel that acts at various stages of mitosis to ensure the accuracy of the process. At the onset of mitosis, CPC localizes to all chromosomes and acts to modify chromatin, during mitosis it moves to the centromeres of chromosomes to prevent inappropriate microtubule attachment, and before cytokinesis, CPC finds its way to the center spindle. So an ongoing research question is how does the CPC elegantly shift during mitosis to save the day?

keep reading

Vader G, Medema RH, and Lens SM. (2006). The passenger chromosome complex: Guiding Aurora-B through mitosis. The Journal of Cell Biology, 173(6), 833-837.

Kabeche, L., Nguyen, H.D., Buisson, R., & Zou, L. (2018). A mitosis-specific, R-loop-driven ATR pathway promotes reliable chromosome segregation. Science, 359(6371), 108-114.

(Video) Mitosis vs Meiosis with Mr Gerbe

How are homologous chromosomes held together and then separated in meiosis I?

You may remember from above that it's proteincohesionwhich holds sister chromatids together in metaphase of mitosis and metaphase II of meiosis. In meiosis Ihomologous chromosomemust be held together in metaphase I before these bonds are quickly broken during anaphase I. This feat is accomplished by a marvelous cellular zipper called Thesynaptonemal complex(SC). This zipper must be strong enough to hold the chromosomes together, but it must also be broken just as efficiently, otherwise the homologous chromosomes will not separate properly in anaphase I, leading to a potentially catastrophic outcome.genetic inequalityin daughter cells. Exactly how this zipper is disassembled is a hot topic of research.

keep reading

Argunhan B, Tsubouchi T and Tsubouchi H (2018). Polo is not alone in meiosis. Cell Cycle, 17(3), 273-274.

Gao, J., & Colaiácovo, MP (2017). Closing and unpacking: protein modifications that regulate the dynamics of synaptonemal complexes. genetic trends.


1)Bennett, MD (1977). The time and duration of meiosis. Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Far away. B, 277(955), 201-226.

2)Jett, JH (2015). How long does it take for a cell to divide? Cytometry Part A, 87(5), 383-384.

3)Brewer, B.J., Chlebowicz-Sledziewska, E., & Fangman, W.L. (1984). Cell cycle phases in the unequal mother/daughter cell cycles of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 4(11), 2529-2531.

4)Clift, D. & Schuh, M. (2013). Restarting life: fertilization and transition from meiosis to mitosis. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, 14(9), 549.

(Video) Mitosis vs Meiosis

5)Paweletz, N. (2001). Walther Flemming: Pioneer of mitosis research. Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology, 2(1), 72.

6)Nurse, PM (2002). Lecture Nobel: Cyclin-dependent kinases and control of the cell cycle. Bioscience Reports, 22(5), 487-499.


1. Comparing mitosis and meiosis | Cells | MCAT | Khan Academy
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2. Mitosis vs. Meiosis
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4. Recap Mitosis vs Meiosis Please correct your work and submit to the class assignment Venn Diagram
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5. Mitosis vs. Meiosis | Main Differences With Examples
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