Mitosis vs. Meiosis: 32 Major Key Differences

Mitosis vs. Meiosis
Mitosis vs. Meiosis

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Here are some of the differences between Mitosis and Meiosis

CharacterMitosis Meiosis
1.      Alternate NameEquational DivisionReduction Division
2.      Discovered byWalther FlemmingOscar Hertwig
3.      Type of Cells InvolvedSomatic cells.Sex cells/germ cells or gametes.
4.      Type of ReproductionAsexual divisionSexual division
5.      Mother CellsCan be either haploid or diploidAlways diploid
6.      Number of DivisionsMitosis involves only one cell division.Involves two successive divisions.
7.      DurationComparatively shorter.Longer.
8.      Number of daughter cells TwoFour
9.      Result intoDiploid (2n) offspring Haploid (n) offspring
10.   Reduction in Chromosome NumberNo reduction in chromosome number.Results in the reduction in chromosome number by half.
11.   Genetical IdentityDaughter cells are genetically the same.Daughter cells are genetically different due to recombination.
12.   Recombination or Crossing overNo recombination or crossing over occurs. Crossing over occurs.
13. Leads to formation ofEverything other than sex cells.Sex cells only: female egg cells or male sperm cells.
14. Steps InvolvedProphase, Metaphase, Anaphase, Telophase.(Meiosis 1) Prophase I, Metaphase I, Anaphase I, Telophase I; (Meiosis 2) Prophase II, Metaphase II, Anaphase II and Telophase II.
15. InterphaseInterphase occurs prior to each division.Interphase precedes in only Meiosis I. It does not occur prior to Meiosis II.
16.   DNA replication during InterphaseTakes place during Interphase.Takes place during Interphase I but not during Interphase II.
17.   DNA replicationOccurs once for one cell division.Occurs once for two cell divisions.
18.   Steps and Length of ProphaseA cell spends less time in prophase of mitosis than a cell in prophase I of meiosis. 

No sub stages occur in mitosis.

Prophase I consist of five stages and lasts longer than prophase of mitosis. The five stages of meiotic prophase I are leptotene, zygotene, pachytene, diplotene, and diakinesis.
19.   ProphaseSimpleComplicated
20.   SynapsisNo synapsisSynapsis of homologous chromosomes takes place during prophase.
21.   Tetrad FormationTetrad formation does not occur. A tetrad consisting of four chromatids (two sets of sister chromatids) lined up closely together is formed.
22.   CentromereEach chromosome consists of two chromatids united by a centromere.The two homologous chromosomes form bivalents or tetrads. Each bivalents has four chromatids and two centromeres.
23.   MetaphaseSister chromatids align at the metaphase plate (a plane that is equally distant from the two cell poles). Tetrads (homologous chromosome pairs) align at the metaphase plate in metaphase I.
24.   Chromosome Alignment in MetaphaseIn the metaphase plate, all the centromeres line up in same plate.In metaphase I, the centromeres are lined up in two planes which are parallel to one another.
25.   ChiasmataAbsentObserved during prophase I and metaphase I.
26.   AnaphaseSister chromatids separate and begin migrating centromere first toward opposite poles of the cell. A separated sister chromatid becomes known as daughter chromosome and is considered a full chromosome. During anaphase I, (double stranded) chromosomes are separated toward each cellular pole. Sister chromatids do not separate in anaphase I.

On the other hand, (single stranded) chromosomes are the ones being segregated during anaphase II.

27.   Centromeres SplitThe centromeres split during anaphase.The centromeres do not separate during anaphase I, but during anaphase II.
28.   Spindle FibresDisappear completely in telophase.Do not disappear completely in telophase I.
29.   NucleoliReappear at telophase.Do not reappear at telophase I.
30.   KaryokinesisOccurs in Interphase.Occurs in Interphase I.
31.   Cytokinesis (division of the cytoplasm)Occurs at the end of telophase. Cytokinesis happens at the end of telophase I and telophase II.
32.FunctionsFacilitate growth, repair, and replacement.

To produce more cells especially during the early stages of development.

To regenerate damaged and lost cells.

Mitosis also occurs in prokaryotes as an essential form of asexual reproduction.
Takes part in the formation of gametes.

To maintain the chromosome number of the offspring. 

For maintenance of genetic diversity on which the process of natural selection acts upon.


  1. Verma, P., & Agarwal, V. (2005). Cell biology, genetics, molecular biology, evolution and ecology. New Delhi: S.Chand.

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Sagar Aryal

Sagar Aryal is a microbiologist and a scientific blogger. He is doing his Ph.D. at the Central Department of Microbiology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal. He was awarded the DAAD Research Grant to conduct part of his Ph.D. research work for two years (2019-2021) at Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), Saarbrucken, Germany. Sagar is interested in research on actinobacteria, myxobacteria, and natural products. He is the Research Head of the Department of Natural Products, Kathmandu Research Institute for Biological Sciences (KRIBS), Lalitpur, Nepal. Sagar has more than ten years of experience in blogging, content writing, and SEO. Sagar was awarded the SfAM Communications Award 2015: Professional Communicator Category from the Society for Applied Microbiology (Now: Applied Microbiology International), Cambridge, United Kingdom (UK). Sagar is also the ASM Young Ambassador to Nepal for the American Society for Microbiology since 2023 onwards.

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