What is the difference between mitosis and meiosis?

Mitosis is a 4-stage process that produces 2 diploid daughter cells from a somatic parent cell (somatic cell is just another way to say any cell other than reproductive cells such as germ cells which produce the egg and sperm cells.) The daughter cells are generically identical and have the same number of chromosomes as the parent cell (as the chromosomes are duplicated before the cell is split.) The purpose of this process is for growth and cell replacement.Meiosis however is an 8-stage process which produces 4 haploid daughter cells (which have half the number of chromosomes as the parent cell) from a germ parent cell, this process occurs in the gonads (reproductive organs) to produce sperm in males and eggs in females. The daughter cells are not genetically identical as the number of chromosomes is halved in each daughter cell, so daughter cells end up with different chromosomes (random shuffling), genetic diversity is further boosted by a process known as 'crossing over' which occurs at the start of meiosis but not in mitosis . A way to remember which process is which is simply to remember the rhyme 'meiosis in my ovaries.'

Answered by Dewi F. Biology tutor


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