Mitosis OverviewAre you eager to gain a better insight about the unit of life?

Here’s a start:  Cells are often classified into two types. The first type is known as “Prokaryotes” while the second is termed as “Eukaryotes”. Cells that are smaller in size, usually about 1-10mm in diameter and reproduce by the process of fission are classified as prokaryotic cells. Because the cells reproduce by fission, the offspring successfully culminate genetic information, absolutely identical to the parent cell. The second type or the eukaryotic cells are distinguished with the only feature of nucleus. Every eukaryotic cell consists of individual nucleus that store genetic materials in the form of chromatin.

In a cell cycle, mitosis is a procedure by which the chromosomes in a cell nucleus divide into two sets of chromosomes. These sets are identical and are safeguarded in individual nucleus. Do you understand the concept of Karyokinesis? Well, Karyokinesis signifies the duplication of nucleus. Cytokinesis on the other hand is a process in which the cytoplasm present in eukaryotic cells is divided to form two daughter cells. In fact, it is not just the cytoplasm that undergoes division but even cell membranes and organelles are divided into two equal shares. The events of mitosis and cytokinesis are in combination defined as the mitotic phase of a cell cycle. In a nutshell, mitosis is all about the division of a mother cell into two daughter cells that are genetically identical to the parent cell.

By now, we are pretty much aware that mitosis occurs in eukaryotic cells only, isn’t it? Well, both animals and plants are eukaryotes. So do they share similar stages of mitosis? Here’s where you need to delve in a little further because mitosis in animal is an ‘open mitosis‘ while eukaryotes like fungi undergo a closed mitosis. The only difference between an open and closed mitosis is that chromosomes in an open mitosis separate post the breaking of a nuclear envelope whereas the division of chromosomes in closed mitosis occur within an intact nucleus.

Mitosis is quite a complex subject to understand. The sequence of events in a mitotic phase is classified into five stages.

  1. Prophase
  2. Prometaphase
  3. Metaphase
  4. Anaphase
  5. Telophase

Problems can spring in during the stages of Mitosis. A very common example is Apoptosis or programmed cell death. Lethal diseases like the Big C can originate due to the occurrence of such mutations or cell death.