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Mitosis and Meiosis Featured

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Cell reproduction is a process that involves the distribution of genetic components. Human cells are constantly reproduced and replaced. The process of reproduction varies and depends of the type of cell undergoing the reproduction process. The process of mitosis involves cell reproduction of somatic cells. Somatic cells are body cells that make up skin, hair and muscles. The process of meiosis takes place during the reproduction of sex cells such as the sperm and the ova. This paper analyzes the process of mitosis and meiosis in cell reproduction. Similarly, the paper will review the role of chromosomes in the transmission of hereditary traits.


Mitosis is a most frequent form of cell reproduction in the body.  This is because they are more body cells than sex cells within the body. Mitosis is a cell separation procedure that involves the replacement, repair and growth of new cells so as to replace the old cells. During the process of mitosis, a cell duplicates into two genetically identical daughter cells. Chromosomes in the cells are separated into two identical sets of chromosomes. Each of these chromosomes gets a nucleus. There are six main stages in the process of mitosis (Starr, & Evers, 2008). The first stage is the interphase which involves the replication of DNA. The second stage is the prophase which involves condensing and shortening of the DNA molecules, so as to form chromosomes.

 The nucleus membrane and nucleolus become invisible. The third phase is the metaphase which involves attachment of the spindle fibers to the centromeres. The fourth phase is the anaphase where the spindle fibers shorten and the centromeres split. The fifth phase is the telophase where the chromosomes move to the poles of their spindles, and the spindle later disintegrates. The final stage is the cytokines which involves the complete splitting of the daughter cells. Each daughter cell acquires equal number of chromosomes.


The process of meiosis occurs through two main phases: Meiosis I and Meiosis II. Each of these phases undergoes the stages of prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase. In the first stage of the Meiosis I (prophase) the homologous chromosomes pair with other chromosomes and split into chromatids.  In the metaphase, the chromosomes line up at the centre of the cell. In the anaphase, the homologous chromosomes move to the opposite sides of the equator. In the telophase, a new chromosome is formed. In the second meiosis II, the first stage i.e. prophase II results to the disappearance of the nuclear membrane (Starr, & Evers, 2008). Metaphase II results to lining up of chromatids at the equator. In anaphase II, the chromatids pair moves through the spindle fibers, from the equator.  In telophase II, four haploid gametes are created.

Transfer of Hereditary Material

The process of meiosis results to the transfer of genetic matter from a parent to a child. Hereditary traits are characteristics that are transferred from parents to their offspring. Cells within the body perform different functions. The cell nucleus performs two main tasks. First, the cell copies genes that will be transferred into daughter cells during the cell division process. Cells also use its genes to synthesize proteins used in the expression of hereditary traits. The traits are transmitted through genes, which are found in chromosomes, made of DNA. A normal human being has DNA with 46 pairs of chromosomes that have been divided into 23 pairs.

In each of the 23 pairs of chromosomes, a chromosome comes from either of the parents. The hereditary traits are, therefore, transferred from either of the parents, to offspring. A person's physical features are an outward expression of their specific genome as found in the cell nucleus. Scientist Walter Sutton is among the first individuals, to establish a connection between chromosomes and hereditary traits. Sutton figured that it was possible to track the path that chromosomes carrying the hereditary are passing. Sutton introduced the chromosome theory of inheritance. Later studies of the fruit fly proved the existence of chromosomes carrying the hereditary trait from parents to offspring. Genetic inheritance further explains why some conditions affect certain individuals. For instance, a father with hemophilia will transfer the condition to his sons and not his daughters. The transfer of hereditary material through genes has also led to the rise of genetic disorders (Jones, & Hartl, 2009). Genetics disorders occur when an abnormal gene is inherited, or it mutates. Unfortunately, these genetic disorders can be inherited by off springs. The manifestation of this disorder will depend on whether it takes a dominant or recessive pattern in the offspring. A dominant genetic disorder will be prominent in an offspring while a dominant disorder will not be visible.


The process of cell reproduction is an ongoing process that involves replication of new cells for the body. There are two main body cells: somatic and sex cells. Somatic cells are the body cells and undergo several processes of mitosis so as to generate new cells.  Similarly, sex cells undergo the process of meiosis. It is during meiosis that the transfer of hereditary traits occurs.


Jones, E. & Hartl, D. (2009). Analysis of genes and genomes. Jones & Bartlett learning

Starr, C. & Evers, C. (2008). Cell biology and genetics. Cengage publishers

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