Why is Mitosis and Meiosis important to a living organism?
Cell division is a very important event that occurs in the living cell. If the process of cell division does not take place, then the living organisms cannot grow and multiply. The reproduction does not occur if cell division stops. The process of cell division includes two steps known as nuclear division followed by cytokinesis. Nuclear division is again split into mitosis and meiosis. Mitosis and meiosis are two types of cell divisions which are mostly similar with slight difference. Mitosis is the type of cell division that occurs in the vegetative cells of the organism while meiosis occurs in the reproductive cells of the organism. Some of the specific processes and products of meiosis differ from that of mitosis.
Mitosis involves division of parent cells into two identical daughter cells that are same as that of parent cell. Hence, it is involved in somatic cell division which is essential for the growth of the organism with the simultaneous growth in organs. Meiosis is called as reduction division and it gives rise to four daughter cells which have only half of the genetic information that was present in the parent cell. Hence, it plays very important role in the formation of gametes (egg and sperm). The gametes are essential in the production of zygote which ultimately develops into a new organism.
Mitosis works for both haploid and diploid cells as there are so many types of organisms in the earth some of which are haploid and some are diploid. Humans are diploid organisms. Meiosis occurs only in diploid or polyploid organisms as it reduces the genetic information. Mitosis consists of one cycle of division that involves four stages called as prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase. Meiosis consists of two cycles of these stages as prophase I, metaphase I, anaphase I and telophase I as well as prophase II, metaphase II, anaphase II and telophase II.
As there will be genetic recombination occurring during meiosis, the daughter cells can contain some of the features of one parent and some from another. This is how we inherit our features from our ancestors and parents.