The key difference between mitosis and meiosis is that mitosis produces two daughter cells that are genetically identical to parent cell while meiosis produces four daughter cells that contain half of the genetic material of the parent cell.
Cells divide and make copies, facilitating the growth and development, tissue repairing, gamete formation, etc., in multicellular organisms. There are two main cell division processes as mitosis and meiosis. During mitosis, a cell duplicates its genome and contents and forms two genetically identical daughter cells. Meanwhile, meiosis carries out the formation of four haploid daughter cells that contain half of the genetic material via two major processes meiosis I and meiosis II. Moreover, mitosis essentially produces new cells whereas meiosis produces gametes.
What is Mitosis?
Mitosis is a cell division that produces two daughter cells that are identical to the parent cell. For a haploid parent cell, the daughter cells will be haploid. Similarly, it forms two diploid daughter cells from a diploid parent cell. Mitosis enables multicellular organisms to grow and repair damaged tissues. Mitotic cell division has several phases as interphase, prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase. Interphase is the longest phase in which DNA replicates during the S phase of interphase. After telophase, the cell is physically divided into two cells. And, this is the process called cytokinesis.
Mitosis is also useful in asexual reproduction and growth. It is also called ‘somatic cell division’ since it occurs in vegetative cells. Mitosis does not create variation in generations. Hence, it is ideal for cloning technology. Moreover, mitosis is an important process in studying phylogenetic relationships since the complexity does not allow it to be risen out of multiple endosymbioses. Perhaps the one and major disadvantage of mitosis is in uncontrollable cell divisions producing tumor or cancerous tissue.
What is Meiosis?
Meiosis is a kind of cell division which is useful in sexual reproduction. It involves the formation of haploid gametes which can unite and form the diploid zygote. Since the gametes are haploid, the fusion of gametes is possible. Furthermore, genetic recombination occurs during meiotic cell division; hence, it allows genetic variations to be introduced in the generations.
Meiosis involves two cell divisions resulting in the formation of four haploid gametes. These two cell divisions are meiosis I and meiosis II. Meiosis I has subphases as prophase I, metaphase II, anaphase I and telophase I. Similarly, meiosis II has four subphases: prophase II, metaphase II, anaphase II and telophase II. Furthermore, meiosis II is similar to mitosis. At the end of meiosis, four daughter cells are formed from one parent cell. These daughter cells are not genetically identical.
What are the Similarities Between Mitosis and Meiosis?
- Mitosis and meiosis are two types of cell division processes.
- Both are of utmost importance to living organisms.
- They produce cells from parent cells.
- Thus, both processes are useful in reproduction.
What is the Difference Between Mitosis and Meiosis?
Mitosis produces two daughter cells from a parent cell, and the cells are genetically identical to the parent cell. Whereas, meiosis produces four daughter cells from a parent cell, and the cells are not genetically identical, and they contain half of the chromosomes of the parent cell. So, this is the key difference between mitosis and meiosis. Furthermore, a significant difference between mitosis and meiosis is that the mitosis has only one cell division while meiosis has two consecutive cell division processes.
Moreover, mitosis is important in growth, development, and tissue repair in the multicellular organisms while meiosis is important for gamete formation and creating genetic diversity among offspring. Hence, this is the functional difference between mitosis and meiosis. Besides, genetic recombination occurs in meiosis due to crossing over while crossing over does not occur during mitosis. Therefore, we can consider this also as a difference between mitosis and meiosis.
Below infographic provides more details on the difference between mitosis and meiosis.
Summary – Mitosis vs Meiosis
Meiosis and mitosis are two cell division processes, which have significant roles in different functions. Mitosis produces genetically identical daughter cells from the parent cells while meiosis produces daughter cells that contain half of the genetic material of the parent cell. Hence, mitosis is essential for growth and repair whereas meiosis is essential for sexual reproduction. Moreover, meiosis facilitates genetic diversity among gametes and offspring. Thus, this is a summary of the difference between mitosis and meiosis.
1. “Mitosis schematic diagram-en” By Original: Jpablo cad and juliana osoriotranslation: MattDerivative work: M3.dahl – This file was derived from Schemazeichnung Mitose.svgDiagrama Mitosis.svg (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Meiosis diagram” By Marek Kultys – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia