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Mitosis and Meiosis

Is the process of nuclear cell division. It is the process of chromosome segregation and nuclear division that follows replication of the genetic material in eukaryotic cells. This process assures that each daughter nucleus receives a complete copy of the organism's genome.

During division, the nucleus of the cell divides, resulting in two sets of identical chromosomes, or organized DNA proteins. This process is almost always accompanied by a process called cytokinesis, in which the rest of the cell divides, leading to two completely separate cells, called daughter cells.

Stages of Mitosis:
Chromosomes are in the dyad form before mitosis, and in the monad form after mitosis.

Prophase: --chromosomes condense --centrioles move to opposite ends of the cell --spindle forms --nuclear envelope disappears

Metaphase: --chromosomes are lined up on cell equator, attached to the spindle at the centromeres

Anaphase: --centromeres divide. Now chromosomes are monads --the monad chromosomes are pulled to opposite poles by the spindle.

Telophase: --chromosomes de-condense --nuclear envelope re-forms --spindle vanishes --cytoplasm divided into 2 separate cells

Sexual reproduction occurs only in eukaryotes. During the formation of gametes, the number of chromosomes is reduced by half, and returned to the full amount when the two gametes fuse during fertilization. For comparison purposes, mitosis is the process of cell division in eukaryotes, in which the parental chromosome number is conserved in each of the daughter cells, while meiosis is a two-cell-division process in sexually reproducing eukaryotes that results in cells (typically gametes) with one-half the chromosome number of the original parental cell.

It is the form of eukaryotic cell division that produces haploid sex cells or gametes (which contain a single copy of each chromosome) from diploid cells (which contain two copies of each chromosome). The process takes the form of one DNA replication followed by two successive nuclear and cellular divisions (Meiosis I and Meiosis II). As in mitosis, meiosis is preceded by a process of DNA replication that converts each chromosome into two sister chromatids.

Without meiosis, there would be no sex because every fusion of gametes would increase the number of chromosomes in the progeny. Sexual reproduction is an important survival strategy.

Before meiosis begins genetic material is duplicated. Followed by first division of meiosis.


Duplicated chromosomes condense and become visible. Spindle forms and synapsis occurs. A mixture of RNA and proteins holds the chromosome pairs together. At this time, the homologs exchange parts.

1.Longer duration 2.Cytogenetic events

The prophase first has been subdivided into five consecutive stages: leptonema, zygonema, pachynema, diplonema, diakinesis.

During leptonema stage the chromosomes appear as long single threads. The centrioles move towards the opposite poles of the cell and a definite type of orientation and polarization of chromosomes towards the centrioles take place.

Homolog pairing initiated during leptotene becomes much more intimate during synapsis as the chromosomes become linked by transverse fibers to form the synaptonemal complex. The SC is responsible for the genetic variation and differentiation of species.

During the zygonema stage the homologous chromosomes pair with one another, gene by gene, over the entire length of the chromosomes. Paired homologous chromosomes.

During the pachynema stage each paired chromosome becomes shorter and thicker than in earlier substages and splits into two sister chromatids except at the region of the centromere.

During diplonema stage, chiasmata appear to move towards the ends of the synapsed chromosomes in the process of terminalization and ultimately to slip off the ends.

During diakinesis, the chromosomes begin to coil and so become shorter and thicker. The nucleolus detaches from the nucleolar organizer and disappears completely The nuclear envelope starts to degenerate and spindle formation is well under the way.

Paired homologous chromosomes align along the equator of cell.

Homologous pair of chromosomes separate with sister chromatids remaining together.

Two daughter cells are formed with each daughter containing only one chromosome of the homologous pair. Cell are divided into two.


Presence of nuclear envelope fragments. Spindle forms and fibers attach to both chromosomes.

Chromosomes align along equator of the cell.

Centromeres divide and sister chromatids migrate separately to each pole.

Nuclear envelopes assemble around two daughter nuclei. Chromosomes decondense. Spindle disappears. Cytokinesis divides cells.

A chromosome is an organized structure of DNA and protein that is found in cells. It is a single piece of coiled DNA containing many genes, regulatory elements and other nucleotide sequences. Chromosomes also contain DNA-bound proteins, which serve to package the DNA and control its functions. The word ''chromosome'' comes from the Greek (''chroma'', color) and (''soma'', body) due to their property of being very strongly stained by particular dyes.

Chromosomes come in pairs. Normally, each cell in the human body has 23 pairs of chromosomes (46 total chromosomes). Half come from the mother; the other half come from the father. Two of the chromosomes (the X and the Y chromosome) determine if you are born a boy or a girl (your gender). They are called sex chromosomes: Females have 2 X chromosomes. Males have 1 X and 1 Y chromosome.

The mother gives an X chromosome to the child. The father may contribute an X or a Y. It is the chromosome from the father that determines if the baby is a girl or a boy. The remaining chromosomes are called autosomal chromosomes. They are known as chromosome pairs 1 through 22.

Each chromosome has a constriction point called the centromere, which divides the chromosome into two sections, or arms. The short arm of the chromosome is labeled the p arm. The long arm of the chromosome is labeled the q arm. The location of the centromere on each chromosome gives the chromosome its characteristic shape, and can be used to help describe the location of specific genes.

Chromosomes vary widely between different organisms. The DNA molecule may be circular or linear, and can be composed of 10,000 to 1,000,000,000 nucleotides in a long chain. Typically eukaryotic cells (cells with nuclei) have large linear chromosomes and prokaryotic cells (cells without defined nuclei) have smaller circular chromosomes, although there are many exceptions to this rule. Cells may contain more than one type of chromosome; for example, mitochondria in most eukaryotes and chloroplasts in plants have their own small chromosomes.

FUNCTIONS: Cell Division Process Gene Packaging Packaging of Regulatory Elements DNA Packaging

Every organism is defined by a blueprint consisting of information stored on its CHROMOSOMES

Composed of enormously long circular or linear molecules of DNA. Contains the genetic information that defines each organism- its GENOME.

3 Classes of specialized DNA sequences are needed to make a fully functional chromosome. 1. A Centromere 2. Two Telomeres 3. An origin of DNA replication .

Chromosomal locus that regulates the movements of the chromosomes during mitosis and meiosis. Defined by specific DNA sequences plus proteins that bind to them. The heart <3 of all chromosomal movements in mitosis and meiosis.

Has an important role in monitoring the attachment of the chromosomes to the spindle and controlling the progress of the cells through mitosis. STRUCTURE: waist-like structure or primary constriction where two sister chromatids are most intimately paired.

Protects the ends of the chromosomal DNA molecules and ensure their complete replication.

A. Chromosomes found in Human B. Chromosome can be categorized on the basis of following criteria. 1. Number of centromeres 2. Position of centromeres

Chromosomes are highly dispersed and difficult to locate before cell division. When the cell begins to divide, the chromosomes are seen clearly and can be photographed as well as their morphology, size and shape can be studied. The chromosome types are divided into two categories Autosomes Sex Chromosome.

A. Autosomes
Autosomes are structures that contain the hereditary information. They do not contain information related to reproduction and sex determination. They are identical in both sexes, i.e., male and female species of humans. There are 46 (2n) chromosomes in humans. Of these 46 chromosomes, there are 44 pairs of autosomes and contain information related to the phenotypic characters.

B. Allosomes/ Heterosomes
The allosomes are sex chromosomes that are different from autosomes in form, behavior and size. There are a pair of allosomes in humans. The X chromosomes are present in the ovum and either the X or Y chromosome can be present in the sperm. These chromosomes help in determination of sex of the progeny. If the offspring receives X chromosome from the mother as well as father, it results in a female child (XX). If the offspring receives one X and one Y chromosome from the parents, it results in a male child (XY). In simple words, it is the donation of X or Y chromosome by the father that helps in determination of the sex of the child.

Apart from these two categories, chromosomes can further be divided according:


Metacentric Chromosome Submetacentric Chromosome

Acentric Chromosome
Monocentric Chromosome Dicentric Chromosome Polycentric Chromosome

Telocentric Chromosome
Subtelocentric Chromosome Acrocentric Chromosome

Holocentric Chromosome

Based On The Centromere Position

Metacentric Chromosome The metacentric chromosome has its centromere centrally located between the two arms. This gives the chromosome a typical 'V' shape that is seen during the anaphase. The arms of this chromosome are roughly equal in length. In certain cells, fusion of two acrocentric chromosomes leads to formation of metacentric chromosome.

Based On The Centromere Position

Submetacentric Chromosome The arms of the submetacentric chromosome are said to be unequal in length. This is because the kinetochore is present in the sub median position. This gives rise to the 'L' shape of the submetacentric chromosome.

Based On The Centromere Position

Telocentric Chromosome Also known as the monarchial type of chromosomes, they have a centromere that is located towards the end of the chromosome. telocentric chromosomes have a 'rod' shaped appearance. In some cases, the telomeres extend from both the chromosome ends. The telocentric chromosome is not present in humans. (ex. rodents)

Based On The Centromere Position

Subtelocentric Chromosome Chromosomes that have a centromere that is located closer to the end than the center, are called subtelocentric chromosomes. In human Karyotype Y chromosome is subtelocentric.

Based On The Centromere Position

Acrocentric Chromosome The location of the centromere in the acrocentric chromosome is subterminal. This causes the short arm of the chromosome to become really short making it very difficult to observe.

Based On The Number Of Centromeres

Acentric Chromosome Acentric chromosomes are those that lack centromeres, the centromere is totally absent on the chromosome. These chromosomes are observed due to effects of chromosome-breaking process like irradiation.

Based On The Number Of Centromeres

Monocentric chromosomes contain a single centromere. This type of chromosome is present in most of the organisms. The monocentric chromosomes can be called acrocentric, metacentric , telocentric chromosomes.

Based On The Number Of Centromeres

Dicentric chromosomes have two centromeres that are present on its arms. These chromosomes are formed after two chromosomal segments with a centromere each, are fused end to end. This causes them to lose their acentric fragments, leading to formation of dicentric chromosome.

Based On The Number Of Centromeres

Polycentric chromosomes contain more than two centromeres. These chromosomes are very common in plants, for example, the Adder's-tongue fern has 1262 chromosomes.

Chromosomes Diffuse
Holocentric Chromosome In holocentric chromosomes, the centromere runs through the entire length of the chromosome. These chromosomes are very common in cells belonging to organisms in the animal and plant kingdom. In this type of Chromosomes Diffuse the centromere is non-localized. the most well known example being the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

Found in Human
Autosomes Allosomes (Sex Cells) 1 pair of chromosome

22 pairs of chromosomes

Based on the position of centromeres

Type Metacentric

Position of Centromere Centre (median)

Shape v-shaped

Details equal arms

Examples tradescantia, amphibians

Near centre Two unequal J or L shaped human being (sub-median) arms Near at one end (subterminal) Terminal One arm very short and another long Rod like grasshopper drosophila

Acrocentric Telocentric

Based on the Number of Centromeres Type

Acentric Monocentric Dicentric
Tricentric Polycentric Holocentric

Number of centromeres
none One Two
Three Many Diffused (Here, microtubules are attached along the length of chromosome)

For chromosomes:

http://www.buzzle.com/articles/types-ofchromosomes.html http://theagricos.com/genetics/chromosome/types -of-chromosome/