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Animation: Overview of Meiosis

by Pearson
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Meiosis is essential to sex, because it enables each parent to contribute one set of chromosomes -- half the total -- to each diploid offspring. During the interphase prior to meiosis, chromosomes replicate. Unlike mitosis, where each chromosome is on its own, in meiosis I homologous chromosomes pair up, and each pair separates, producing two haploid cells with their sister chromatids still joined. Meiosis II is like mitosis; sister chromatids separate and four haploid cells are formed. Note that each has half the chromosomes of the parent cell. These cells differ genetically from each other and from the cells of the parents.
Meiosis is essential to sex, because it enables each parent to contribute one set of chromosomes -- half the total -- to each diploid offspring. During the interphase prior to meiosis, chromosomes replicate. Unlike mitosis, where each chromosome is on its own, in meiosis I homologous chromosomes pair up, and each pair separates, producing two haploid cells with their sister chromatids still joined. Meiosis II is like mitosis; sister chromatids separate and four haploid cells are formed. Note that each has half the chromosomes of the parent cell. These cells differ genetically from each other and from the cells of the parents.