Meiosis vs. Mitosis…which is which again? Part 1

Biology Tutorial

Meiosis vs. Mitosis...which is which again? Part 1


I remember when I first learned about Mitosis in biology,I was like “oh ok that makes sense” and then I learned about Meiosis and my immediate reaction was… “didn’t we just learn about this”? It definitely does not help that they both start with “M’s”, I would continuously get them confused and was not really sure how they were different, similar, etc. I find this is a common issue for students in biology, so let’s dive a little deeper into the not so confusing but seemingly confusing world of meiosis and mitosis!

Sample Problem

1).What is Mitosis?
2). What is Meiosis?


First, Mitosis occurs in all cells! Often times you will hear the word “somatic” or mitosis occurs in “somatic”cells. Do not fret, this just means all cells except the reproductive cells. Mitosis is simply just the process of how cells grow and divide. It’s a part of the cell cycle.

what to know about Mitosis:
1). It occurs in ALL cells EXCEPT reproductive cells
2). It has 4 phases: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase or “PMAT”
3). It all occurs with one division
4). Final product: two identical diploid daughter cells

wonder why mitosis occurs in all cells except reproductive ones? Because in reproductive cells meiosis occurs! Meiosis occurs in reproductive cells and Meiosis is the process involved in gamete formation… A.K.A the making of eggs and sperm.

what to know about meiosis:
1). It occurs in reproductive cells
2). It has two divisions: meiosis I and meiosis II
3). Meiosis I looks just like mitosis, and at the end makes 2 daughter cells (this
time haploid)
4). Those 2 daughter cells then divide again and produce 4 haploid daughter cells
5). So in summary: final product end of meiosis I: 2 haploid cells, final product
for meiosis II: 4 haploid daughter cells
6). The phases are named the same as for mitosis: so, prophase, metaphase, anaphase
and telophase. Even for meiosis II! But now it just has a “II” attached to it
so prophase II (prophase 2)

Test your skills:
Look up charts comparing meiosis and mitosis and see the similarities and differences, then really try to understand those conceptually rather than memorizing.
P.S Looking up pictures also really help understand the divisions and what is happening at each phase.

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Come one come all! Hello everybody! So first things first, let's get the qualifications out of the way. My name is Zaimary and I graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor's of Science majoring in Biology. I am also pursuing a Master's in Biomedical Sciences this coming year! I h...
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  1. Kathleen Rugel 08/31/2017, 1:47 pm Reply

    Well written tutorial! You did a great job handling subject matter in a really easy and comfortable manner. Most of the other tutorials are way too wordy and take a lot of granted about what the student knows. Yours was fun and easy and informative.