Biology Essay

1360 words - 6 pages

Mitosis and Meiosis at first seem much alike for that they both are forms of cellular reproduction. Moreover, they go through similar stages such as interphase, prophrase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase, and cytokenisis. However, despite their similarities, these two processes are much different and have their own specific importance in cell reproduction. Mitosis evolved because it is a process that occurs in somatic cells and allows the division of a cell into two genetically identical daughter cells that are called diploids (2n) and have the total amount of chromosomes. In mitosis, the only difference between an animal cell and a plant cell will be during the cytokenisis stage. In an ...view middle of the document...

If mitosis were the only cell reproduction process, diploid cells would fusion with another diploid during sexual reproduction resulting in an increase of the number of chromosomes in organisms throughout the generations. Also, meiosis is beneficial because it increases genetic variation through the production of new combinations of alleles, specifically crossing over during meiosis. Crossing over is the exchange of chromosome fragments at points called chiasmata between nonsister chromosomes of a pair of homologues. It results in the different combination of alleles in organisms. Independent assortment and random fertilization is also a way to obtain genetic variations. Finally, meiosis and crossover help prevent inherited disorders. Crossover can eliminate a disorder that a parent has and passes genetically. Thus, meiosis allows the positive evolution of species throughout the generations. On the other hand, 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. Mitosis also helps the cell in maintaining proper size and equilibrium in the amount of DNA and RNA in the cell. Moreover, the growth of multicellular organism is due to mitosis. Mitotic cells are produced until the particular size has been reached. Again, the old, decaying and dead cells of the body are replaced by the process of mitosis.

Mitosis and meiosis have similarities but also some differences. In a general point of view, both mitosis and meiosis are mechanisms that describe cell division. Meiosis reduces the number of chromosome sets from one diploid to four haploids, whereas mitosis conserves the number of chromosome sets from one diploid to two diploids. Therefore, mitosis produces daughter cells genetically identical to their parent cell and to each other, whereas meiosis produces cells that differ genetically from their parent cell and from each other. In an organism that is n=8, a germ cell will have 8 chromosomes [n], half the total number found in a somatic cell (which would be in this case 16 [2n]). Then, a male and female gametes fusion together to form a diploid zygote with 16 chromosomes. The zygote will then develop and remain a diploid with 16 chromsomes (2n). To reach those numbers, each process goes through stages (see image below). Both, mitosis and meiosis, in their first stage of division, replicate DNA during interphase. However, in meiosis there is an additional second division during which the number of chromosomes remain the same, explaining why germ cells have only half the total number of chromosomes. Moreover, in meiosis,during prophase I, crossing over occurs between the non-sister chromatids (genes variation). In mitosis, this synapsis of homologous chromosomes does not occur. Later on in the process, at metaphase I of meiosis, tetrads are positioned on the metaphase plate, rather than individual replicated...

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