meiosis

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meiosis

 [mi-o´sis]
the process of cell division by which reproductive cells (gametes) are formed. There are two successive divisions, meiosis I and meiosis II, in which four daughter cells that have the haploid chromosome number (23 in humans) are formed. As in mitosis (somatic cell division), meiosis I and II are each divided into four phases: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase. adj., adj meiot´ic.

The first meiotic prophase is a complex process separated into five stages. During leptotene the chromosomes coil and contract; each consists of two chromatids joined along their length. During zygotene pairs of homologous chromosomes come into point-to-point contact along their length. This process is called synapsis and the structure formed is called a bivalent. The X and Y chromosomes synapse only at the ends of the short arms. During pachytene the chromosomes thicken, and the chromatids of each chromosome separate except at the centromeres. The bivalent is now a tetrad of four chromatids. During this stage crossing over occurs, in which the chromatids of homologous chromosomes break and rejoin, resulting in chromatids that contain sections derived from both the mother and the father. During diplotene the two chromosomes of each bivalent separate except for X-shaped chiasmata where crossover has occurred. In the female, this stage (called dictyotene) is prolonged; the oocyte remains in this stage from late fetal life until the time of ovulation. In the last stage, diakinesis, the chiasmata move to the ends of the chromosomes.

The other phases of meiosis I and II resemble those of mitosis, except that in meiosis I the two chromosomes of each bivalent separate and move to opposite poles. Thus, each daughter cell receives the haploid number of chromosomes, each with two chromatids. The assortment is random; either the maternal or the paternal chromosome can go to a daughter cell. Meiosis II then follows immediately without DNA replication. Both daughter cells formed by meiosis I divide again and the two chromatids of each chromosome separate and go to separate daughter cells. This produces four haploid daughter cells with chromosomes composed of single chromatids.
Meiosis (only two of the 23 human chromosome pairs are shown, the chromosomes from one parent in black, those from the other parent in outline). From Dorland's, 2000.

mei·o·sis

(mī-ō'sis), Do not confuse this word with miosis.
A special process of cell division comprising two nuclear divisions in rapid succession that result in four gametocytes, each containing half the number of chromosomes found in somatic cells.
Synonym(s): meiotic division
[G. meiōsis, a lessening]

meiosis

/mei·o·sis/ (mi-o´sis) cell division occurring in maturation of sex cells, wherein, over two successive cell divisions, each daughter nucleus receives half the number of chromosomes typical of the somatic cells of the species, so that the gametes are haploid.meiot´ic
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Meiosis (only two of the 23 human chromosome pairs are shown, the chromosomes from one parent in blue, those from the other parent in pink).

meiosis

(mī-ō′sĭs)
n. pl. meio·ses (-sēz′)
1. Genetics The process of cell division in sexually reproducing organisms that reduces the number of chromosomes from diploid to haploid, as in the production of gametes.
2. Rhetorical understatement.

mei·ot′ic (-ŏt′ĭk) adj.
mei·ot′i·cal·ly adv.

meiosis

[mī·ō′sis]
Etymology: Gk, becoming smaller
the division of a sex cell as it matures into two and then four haploid cells. The nucleus of each receives one half of the number of chromosomes present in the somatic cells of the species. Also called reduction division. Compare mitosis. See also anaphase, metaphase, oogenesis, prophase, spermatogenesis, telophase. meiotic [mī·ot′ik] , adj.
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Meiosis

meiosis

The process of nuclear division whereby cells divide without replicating chromosomes, producing mature eggs and sperm with a haploid number of chromosomes. Meisosis is a type of cell division required for sexual reproduction, which consists of two nuclear divisions:
(1) In the first division, the chromosomes undergo recombination, forming different genetics in each daughter gamete—each of which has a full (diploid) complement of chromosomes—which is essentially what occurs in mitosis;
(2) In the second division, the diploid complement is reduced to a haploid number.

The resulting cells contain one part of each pair of homologous chromosomes, which allows the haploid daughter cell from the mother (ovum) to combine with a haploid daughter cell from the father (sperm).

mei·o·sis

(mī-ō'sis)
A special process of cell division comprising two nuclear divisions in rapid succession that result in four gametocytes, each containing half the number of chromosomes found in somatic cells.
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MEIOSIS

meiosis

(mi-o'sis) [Gr. diminution]
A process of two successive cell divisions, producing cells, egg or sperm, that contain half the number of chromosomes (haploid) in somatic cells. When fertilization occurs, the nuclei of the sperm and ovum fuse and produce a zygote with the full chromosome complement (diploid).
See: illustration; chromosome; mitosis; oogenesis

meiosis

The process in the formation of the sperms (spermatozoa) and eggs (ova) in which chromosomal material undergoes recombination (meiosis I) and the chromosomes are reduced to a single set of 23 (haploid number) instead of the normal 23 pairs (meiosis II). This allows the restoration of the normal number when the spermatozoon fuses with the ovum. See also MITOSIS.
Meiosisclick for a larger image
Fig. 217 Meiosis . (a) Prezygotic meiosis, eg humans. (b) Postzygotic meiosis, eg fungus.

meiosis

a type of nuclear division associated with sexual reproduction, producing four HAPLOID (1) cells from a single DIPLOID (1) cell, the process involving two cycles of division. Although meiosis is a continuous process it has been divided into numerous stages, given below. Further details of each stage can be obtained by referring to individual entries.

PROPHASE I: homologous chromosomes pair, split into CHROMATIDS, and carry out CROSSING OVER. The nuclear membrane disintegrates.

METAPHASE I: chromosomes migrate to the spindle equator to which they become attached by their CENTROMERES. ANAPHASE I: HOMOLOGOUS CHROMOSOMES separate to opposite poles. TELOPHASE I: new nuclei form, in which there is only one type of each chromosome, although each is divided into two chromatids. PHOPHASE II: nuclear membrane goes. METAPHASE II: chromosomes attach to spindle. ANAPHASE II: chromatids separate to poles. TELOPHASE II: a total of four haploid nuclei is produced, each with one of each type of chromosome.

Meiosis has two major functions:

  1. it halves the number of chromosomes to prevent a doubling in each generation,
  2. it produces a mixing of genetic material in the daughter cells by the process of INDEPENDENT ASSORTMENT and RECOMBINATION. Note that the second point is only true if variability already is present in the parent cell.

Meiosis occurs at different stages of the life cycle in haploid and diploid organisms. See Fig. 217 . See also MITOSIS, GAMETOGENESIS and Figs. 167 and 168 .

meiosis

reduction division; see chromosomes

mei·o·sis

(mī-ō'sis)
Special process of cell division comprising two nuclear divisions in rapid succession that result in four gametocytes, each containing half the number of chromosomes found in somatic cells.

meiosis (mio´sis),

n a type of cell division of maturing sex cells that ensures that each daughter cell contains the necessary complement of chromosomes for future embryonic development.
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Second meiotic division.

meiosis

the process of cell division by which reproductive cells (gametes) are formed. There are two successive divisions, meiosis I and meiosis II, in which four daughter cells that have the haploid chromosome number are formed. As in mitosis (somatic cell division), meiosis I and II are each divided into four phases: prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase.