Difference Between Mitosis and Meiosis

Mitosis vs Meiosis

The process of cell division serves to multiply cells. It involves the distribution of identical genetic material, DNA, to two daughter cells. The genetic material is passed on to the next generation without any errors. It occurs via two methods mainly termed mitosis and meiosis. Both serve to divide the cells although at different sites and for different functions.

During mitosis, a cell duplicates its contents and form two identical daughter cells. Meiosis results in the formation of four haploid daughter cells via a two step process. Mitosis essentially produces new cells whereas meiosis produces gametes.


Mitosis helps to produce two daughter cells which are identical to the parent cell. For a haploid parent cell the daughter cells will be haploid. It forms diploid daughter cells in case of diploid parent cells. The cell division enables multicellular organisms to grow and repair damaged tissues. The stages of the cell cycle with the mitotic phase are Interphase, Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase and Telophase. DNA is replicated during S phase of interphase.

The process is also useful in asexual reproduction and growth. It is also called as ‘somatic cell division’ since it occurs in vegetative cells. Mitosis does not create variation in generations. Hence it is suited for cloning technology. The process is good for studying phylogenetic relationships since the complexity does not allow it to be risen out of multiple endosymbiosis.

Perhaps the one and major disadvantage of mitosis is in uncontrollable cell divisions producing tumor or cancerous tissue. In phylogenetic studies, the application of mitosis is limited since the structural and genetic changes rarely coincide and hence very difficult to relate them on the basis of the mitotic data alone.


Meiosis is the kind of cell division which is useful in sexual reproduction. It involves formation of haploid gametes which can fuse and form the zygote. Since the gametes are haploid and fusion of gametes is possible, it allows for variations to be introduced in the generations.

Recombination events are more common in meiosis which forms the basis of further studies on localization of gene and gene mapping methods.

Meiosis involves two cell divisions resulting in the formation of four haploid gametes. It helps in DNA repair during the process of multiplication.

The steps involved are Interphase, Prophase I, Metaphase I, Anaphase I, Telophase I, Prophase II, Metaphase II, Anaphase II and Telophase II.

Difference between Mitosis and Meiosis

1. Number of divisions – mitosis undergoes only one division whereas meiotic processes undergo two such divisions.

2. Purpose – mitosis essentially functions in asexual reproduction, growth and repair. Meiotic divisions are required for recombination and reproductive events

3. Duplication of contents – Mitosis duplicates the contents of the cell both chromosomes and cytoplasmic materials during the process. Meiosis does not duplicate the chromosomes in the first division. The second meiotic division is same as mitosis and the chromosome number does not get reduced.

4. Crossing over- occurs in meiotic process alone.

5. Centromere- The centromeres do not separate during anaphase I, but during anaphase II of meiosis. In mitosis, they split during anaphase.

6. Cytokinesis occurs two times both in telophase I and telophase II in meiosis. Mitotic processes allow for cytokinesis only once.

Both the processes have their significant roles in different functions. Mitosis is essential for growth and repair whereas meiosis is essential for reproduction. By understanding the nature of similarity and dissimilarity it is possible to arrive at newer research like finding a common drug to prevent the mechanism. The individual processes really need a detailed study to understand the finer concepts. The processes are significant from development and evolutionary points.