Mitosis and Meiosis

Cell division and reproduction can occur in two ways - mitosis and meiosis.

Mitosis is a process of cell duplication, or reproduction, during which one cell gives rise to two genetically identical daughter cells.

Meiosis, on the other hand, is a division of a germ cell involving two fissions of the nucleus and giving rise to four gametes, or sex cells, each possessing half the number of chromosomes of the original cell.

Mitosis is used by single celled organisms to reproduce; it is also used for the organic growth of tissues, fibers, and membranes. Meiosis is useful for sexual reproduction of organisms. The male and female sex cells, e.g. the spermatozoa and egg, fuse to create a new, singular biological organism.

Comparison chart



Definition A type of cellular reproduction in which the number of chromosomes are reduced by half through the separation of homologous chromosomes, producing two haploid cells. A process of asexual reproduction in which the cell divides in two producing a replica, with an equal number of chromosomes in each resulting diploid cell.
Function sexual reproduction Cellular Reproduction & general growth and repair of the body
Type of Reproduction Sexual Asexual
Occurs in Humans, animals, plants, fungi all organisms
Genetically different identical
Crossing Over Yes, mixing of chromosomes can occur. No, crossing over cannot occur.
Pairing of Homologs Yes No
Number of Divisions 2 1
Number of Daughter Cells produced 4 haploid cells 2 diploid cells
Chromosome Number Reduced by half Remains the same
Steps The steps of meiosis are Interphase, Prophase I, Metaphase I, Anaphase I, Telophase I, Prophase II, Metaphase II, Anaphase II and Telophase II. The steps of mitosis are Interphase, Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase and Cytokinesis
Karyokinesis Occurs in Interphase I Occurs in Interphase
Cytokinesis Occurs in Telophase I & Telophase II Occurs in Telophase
Centromeres Split The centromeres do not separate during anaphase I, but during anaphase II The centromeres split during Anaphase
Creates Sex cells only: Female egg cells or Male sperm cells Makes everything other than sex cells
Discovered by Oscar Hertwig Walther Flemming

Contents: Mitosis and Meiosis

Process Differences

Mitosis is a method of reproduction for single celled organisms that reproduce asexually. An identical version of the organism is created through splitting of the cell in two. Meiosis may result in millions of spermatozoa and egg cells with unique genetic patterns. The mating of the two cells formed by meiosis results in a unique genetic offspring of the same species. Meiosis is a major factor in evolution, natural selection, and biodiversity. The processes of cellular division shown in mitosis and meiosis are present in all manner of life forms including humans, animals, plants, fungi, and single celled organisms and species. Essentially any cell based organism of which all organic life is based will exhibit some form of mitosis and meiosis for growth and reproduction of the individual and species.

Different Stages of Mitosis and Meiosis

The different phases of meiosis are: Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase and Telophase.

An overview of the process and phases of meiosis
An overview of the process and phases of meiosis

The stages of mitosis are: Interphase, Preprophase, Prophase, Prometaphase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase and Cytokinesis.

The process of mitosis
The process of mitosis

This video explains the stages of mitosis and meiosis in more detail:

Differences in Purpose

Both Meiosis and Mitosis are found in complex organisms which reproduce sexually. Mitosis may be used for human growth, the replenishment of depleted organs and tissues, healing, and sustenance of the body. Identical versions of cells can be created to form tissues through Mitosis. Meiosis is a special process reserved for the creation of the egg and sperm cells. The same patterns may be found in many species of plant and animal cell reproduction.


The importance of mitosis is the maintenance of the chromosomal set; each cell formed receives chromosomes that are alike in composition and equal in number to the chromosomes of the parent cell.


Meiosis is found to occur in humans, animals and plants while mitosis is found in single-cell species as well.


Meiosis was discovered and described for the first time in sea urchin eggs in 1876, by noted German biologist Oscar Hertwig.

Walther Flemming discovered the process of Mitosis in 1882.


Mitosis as a form of reproduction for single-cell organisms originated with life itself (around 4 billion years ago). Meiosis is thought to have appeared 1.4 billion years ago.

Chromosomal pattern comparison

In mitosis, each daughter cell ends up with two complete sets of chromosomes while in meiosis, each daughter cell ends up with one set of chromosomes.

Both mitosis and meiosis are studied by scientists generally by using a microscope to identify and classify chromosomal patterns and relationships within the cell’s structure. An understanding of the way cells synthesize chromosomes for reproduction can be applied in bio-machines and nano-technology. Transplantation of genes and chromosomes through injection and implantation is used to experiment with bio-engineering and cloning. Understanding the process through which cells replicate also has application in medicine and the study of health and disease.


Comments: Meiosis vs Mitosis

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March 18, 2014, 6:01am

This was very helpfull

— 105.✗.✗.149

February 26, 2014, 10:13pm

i literally copied all the stuff from the chart and finished my homework. Shorty, you so best.

— 74.✗.✗.124

February 20, 2014, 8:55am

Wow how great it was to learn how meiosis and mitosos functions

— 41.✗.✗.54

October 25, 2013, 7:33pm

cool... helps a bit

— 163.✗.✗.231

June 11, 2013, 7:34am

wow this is really helpful thanks!

— 211.✗.✗.219

April 24, 2013, 9:33pm

Quite useful! the chart helped me a lot in biology!

— 186.✗.✗.161

January 28, 2013, 11:20pm

This will help enhance my study on forest genetics and tree breeding. Thnx alot

— 37.✗.✗.47

January 28, 2013, 4:53pm

im confused w/ purpose of process between mitosis & meiosis . . . (>.<)

— 166.✗.✗.101

August 16, 2012, 5:06am

Thankyou. :*

— 122.✗.✗.140

May 22, 2012, 2:12pm

this is really helpfull

— 169.✗.✗.146

May 10, 2012, 2:35pm

these graphs are very useful when it comes to study for a test

— 170.✗.✗.17

May 3, 2012, 8:32pm

Thank you for the information. It was very useful. YOLO

— 75.✗.✗.3

April 27, 2012, 4:18pm

this stuff was nicely used. Thanks buddy

— 208.✗.✗.35

February 27, 2012, 11:54pm

This was very helpful so I could study for my test!! :)

— 71.✗.✗.174

February 12, 2012, 4:21pm


— 122.✗.✗.194

December 11, 2011, 9:43am

you must add understandable charts that differentiate mitosis and meiosis

— 119.✗.✗.194

November 12, 2011, 6:49am

well explained i think i will carry it across in class and show a good demonstration

— 2.✗.✗.118

July 14, 2011, 3:02pm

i am not a bio student but this topic is very interesting.Now with clear concept of both i can even help some bio students

— 180.✗.✗.47

October 19, 2013, 9:48pm

Thank you so much! You have really helped me understand the difference between the two :)

— 72.✗.✗.203

September 6, 2013, 3:01am

wow this is useful@_@

— 153.✗.✗.158

August 24, 2009, 2:17am

Meiosis and Mitosis have one similarity and some differences. One similarity is step. They proceded by Interphase. One difference is type of reproduction. Meiosis is sexual. Mitosis is asexual. Another difference is number of divisions. Meiosis has 2 nuclear and cytoplasmic divisions. Mitosis has 1 division of the nucleus in Cytokinesis.

— 58.✗.✗.109

April 16, 2014, 9:48am

this is nice wow finally i now know more about mitosis and meiosis

— 82.✗.✗.175

March 31, 2014, 5:33pm

mitosis is the process of cell divistion found in somatic cells, a diploid parent divides to produce two of it own kinds, having the same quantity and quality materials as the parent.

— 141.✗.✗.90

March 22, 2014, 4:18pm

Just got stuff for my term paper,
Thank you.

— 82.✗.✗.73

February 19, 2014, 7:45am

chromosome replication vs chromosome reshefling

— 82.✗.✗.251

February 16, 2014, 12:15pm

Simple and it enables me to understand the differences between them....

— 60.✗.✗.196

February 16, 2014, 8:10am

Different between miosis and mitiosis

— 37.✗.✗.142

February 11, 2014, 6:20am

Meosis is found to accur in human's animal plant ===> mitosis is found in single cell species as wall

— 82.✗.✗.246

February 5, 2014, 8:37pm

Wow thanks I learned more on this than my two week lesson on it

— 67.✗.✗.146

January 15, 2014, 12:21pm

Thx 😊

— 99.✗.✗.83

January 15, 2014, 12:26am


— 67.✗.✗.181

January 14, 2014, 11:24pm

Thx I hope this will help me to pass that exam :(

— 74.✗.✗.111

January 9, 2014, 9:11am

Tanks a lot it was useful.

— 197.✗.✗.32

December 23, 2013, 11:31pm

I understand much now ..anyway i like it.

— 82.✗.✗.85

December 9, 2013, 11:41pm

I think this is the smart study...............thank you very much.............................I like it

— 91.✗.✗.92

December 8, 2013, 12:27am

Really hlped

— 208.✗.✗.224

December 6, 2013, 4:56pm


— 207.✗.✗.126

October 31, 2013, 6:42pm

Helped me study! thanks

— 162.✗.✗.236

January 10, 2010, 6:28pm

Added definitions as according to:
Campbell, Neil A., and Jane B. Reece. Biology with MasteringBiology(TM) (8th Edition). San Francisco: Benjamin Cummings, 2007. Print.

— 71.✗.✗.219

March 5, 2014, 10:20pm

I wanna know da meaning of haploid

— 141.✗.✗.216

March 3, 2014, 5:51pm

Am glad to know the differences between Meiosis and Mitosis

— 82.✗.✗.238

January 15, 2014, 8:36am

yay I can complete my hmwk with this..... hmwk=homework

— 204.✗.✗.17

June 4, 2013, 5:40am

Mitosis produces 2 diploid daughter cells... not 2 haploid daughter cells... I think someone mentioned this previously.

— 119.✗.✗.39

February 28, 2013, 6:16pm

They know, it says diploid not haploid

— 142.✗.✗.53

February 19, 2013, 9:24pm

mitosis doesn't produce any haploid daughter cells

— 70.✗.✗.91

November 9, 2012, 6:47am

Hi there, I'm quite sure that mitosis doesn't result in a haploid cell unless the parent cell is itself a haploid cell. Hence, I think there is a an error up there in the table. It should be diploid.

— 182.✗.✗.227

June 7, 2012, 2:21am

Cytokinesis isn't a part of meiosis/mitosis, but other than that, it was helpful!

— 174.✗.✗.27

April 12, 2012, 4:30pm

Three points to make, listed in order of increasing importance:

Listing humans and animals separately might serve to emphasise that meiosis _does_ occur in human, but it also serves to draw a distinction between humans and animals that doesn't exist. A better phrasing would have been "animals (including humans), plants and fungi".

Mitosis can produce two _haploid_ daughter cells, if it is a haploid cell undergoing mitosis. There is no reason for it to be only diploid cells that undergo mitosis, and it is in fact not the case. The key point is that the chromosome number does not change.

Mitosis _DOES NOT_ occur in all organisms. Division of prokaryotic cells is not mitotic - there are no mitotic spindles and no chromosome condensation is involved. The process of prokaryotic cell division is entirely different, and is called binary fission. In fact, mitosis occurs in exactly the same organisms as meiosis.

— 62.✗.✗.72

July 14, 2008, 5:24pm

In an early comment, the text states that mitosis occurs in sexual reproduction. I think this is a typo. Mitosis occurs in asexual reproduction.

— 68.✗.✗.205
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