Mitosis step-by-step




During interphase, the chromosomes will be duplicated in preparation for mitosis, which divides the chromosomes, and cytokinesis, which divides the cell's cytoplasm. In early prophase, the duplicated chromosomes begin to condense. Each chromosome consists of two sister chromatids joined at the centromere. Chromosomes continue to condense. New microtubules assemble and move one of the centriole pairs to the opposite side of the cell. The nuclear envelope begins to break up. During the transition to metaphase, the nuclear envelope breaks up completely. Microtubules penetrate the nuclear area and form the spindle apparatus. Many spindle microtubules become attached to the sister chromatids of each chromosome. The two-way pulling of microtubules from both poles drags the chromosomes to the spindle equator. At this stage of mitosis, they are at their most condensed form. In anaphase, the sister chromatids of each chromosome separate from each other and move to opposite poles. Telophase gets under way once the chromosomes arrive at the spindle poles. The chromosomes decondense and patches of new membrane fuse to form two nuclear membranes. Mitosis is now complete. When cell division is complete, cells enter interphase. During interphase, the chromosomes will be duplicated in preparation for the next round of mitosis.



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