The difference between Mitosis and Meiosis is quite obvious. They are two entirely unique processes that have two different functions. Meiosis is required for genetic variation and continuity of all living organisms. Mitosis, on the other hand, is focused on the growth and development of cells.
What is Mitosis?
Mitosis is a process of asexual reproduction in which the cell divides in two producing a replica, with an equal number of chromosomes in each resulting diploid cell. It is a continuum process of cell division that occurs in all types of living cells.
Mitosis is the process where the division of cells occurs by asexual reproduction and its carried out in four basic phases – prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase.
In mitosis, the nuclear membrane is broken down, spindle fibers (microtubules) attach to the chromatids at the centromere and pull apart the chromatids. When the chromatids reach separate ends of the cells, the spindle fibers disintegrate, and a nuclear membrane rebuilds around the chromosomes making two nuclei.
What is Meiosis?
Meiosis is the form of nuclear cell division that results in daughter cells that have one-half the chromosome numbers as the original cell.
In organisms that are diploid, the end result is cells that are haploid. Each daughter cell gets one complete set of chromosomes, i.e., one of each homologous pair of chromosomes. In humans, this means the chromosome number is reduced from 46 to 23.
The joining together of a sperm and egg during fertilization returns the number of the chromosomes to 46. However, cells that undergo meiosis go through the cell cycle including the S phase so begin the process with chromosomes that consist of two chromatids just as in mitosis.
Meiosis consists of meiosis I and meiosis II. In meiosis I homologous chromosomes are separated into different nuclei.
Notable Distinctions Between Mitosis and Meiosis
1. Mitosis occurs only in somatic cells and has 4 stages in total.
2. Meiosis occurs in germ cells and has 8 stages in all.
3. Mitosis was discovered by Walther Flamming, while meiosis was discovered by Oscar Hertwig.
4. Cytokinesis occurs only in telophase during mitosis while it occurs in Telophase I and telophase II during meiosis.
5. Mitotic cell division produces 2 diploid daughter cells.
6. Meiotic cell division produces 4 haploid daughter cells.
7. In mitosis, the number of chromosomes remains the same.
8. In meiosis, chromosomes number is halved in each daughter cell.
9. It is observed that genetic variation doesn’t change in mitosis.
10. Generally, in mitotic cell division, chromatids are long and thin. Unlike in when they are shorter and thick.