Why mitosis is important?

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Mitosis is one type of division that living cells undergo either for the growth and development of tissues or as a form of asexual reproduction. There is a lot of significance to mitosis in the natural world and it also has implications for humans. Read further to learn answers to some common questions that many people have about mitosis.

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What is mitosis – easy definition?

Mitosis is very simply, the process in which one cell divides into two new cells. The original cell that divides is called the parent cell, while the two new cells that are produced are known as daughter cells. 

Is mitosis cell division?

Mitosis is a form of cell division in which no genetic variation is introduced.

What are the 4 stages to mitosis?

The process of mitosis has four stages that have to occur in a specific sequence. These four stages from start to finish are given below.

  1. Prophase
  2. Metaphase
  3. Anaphase
  4. Telophase

What are the 7 steps of mitosis in order?

Some scientists like to include the steps before and immediately after the 4 stages of mitosis. There are also finer divisions within certain of the four stages. These seven steps of mitosis are listed and discussed (in the order that they occur) below.


Interphase is a stage immediately preceding mitotic division and is often considered a separate phase of the cell cycle, different from the nuclear division of the 4 stages. We have included this here as an important step because crucial preparation occurs during this time. This is when the cell grows and DNA is copied (replicated). DNA replication is needed before the nucleus can divide.


In prophase, the nuclear envelope disintegrates and chromosomes condense and become visible. Various organelles become fragmented during this time. The centrosomes migrate to opposite poles of the cell. The centrioles within these centrosomes start to make the spindle apparatus. 

Late prophase

The spindle apparatus puts out fibers called microtubules. Some of these microtubules attach to the chromatids. Each chromosome is made of two chromatids, and each then becomes attached to a separate microtubule.


By this stage of division, the spindle apparatus is completely formed and all chromatids are attached to microtubules. The chromosomes (note: each chromosome is still made up of two chromatids each), line up in the middle of the cell. They are sometimes said to be at the cell equator or metaphase plate.


The microtubules shorten and, in the process, pull the two chromatids of each chromosome apart towards opposite ends of the cell.


Each chromatid is now a chromosome that unwinds and elongates once positioned at the end of the cell. There should be at this time, an equal number of chromosomes at each pole of the cell. The nuclear envelope and nucleolus are now formed again. 


The cell now divides into two new cells by a process called cytokinesis in animal cells. In this process, the cytoplasm of the cell pinches in the middle of the cell. In plant cells, a cell plate is deposited in the middle of the cell. The end result is two new daughter cells with equal numbers of chromosomes as the parent cell. Genetically, the cells are also identical to the parent cell.

Why should DND be replicated prior to mitosis?

DNA has to be copied before mitosis to ensure that there will be enough DNA at the end of the process. Once copied the chromosomes have two chromatids each that can then be easily divided. The same amount of DNA needs to be present in each daughter cell. The only way to achieve this is by DNA replication in interphase.

When is mitosis complete?

Mitosis is complete at the very last stage, cytokinesis.

Why mitosis is called equational division

Mitosis is also known as equational division because the chromosome number of the newly created cells is equal to that of the parent cell. This explains why mitosis is known as equational division.

Will this cell elongate during mitosis?

The cell does elongate somewhat during anaphase as the chromosomes are pulled apart.

Where is mitosis in the cell cycle?

Mitosis occurs between two stages of interphase called G2 and G1. 

Why mitosis is a biologically important process

Mitosis is important in the growth of tissues and also in some types of reproduction.

Why mitosis is necessary for growth

Mitosis is important in allowing organisms to grow. This is because it produces cells that are supposed to be genetically the same as the parent cell. In this way, an organism that is multicellular can grow larger in time. 

Is mitosis asexual reproduction?

Mitotic divisions are how some organisms are able to produce offspring by asexual means. For instance, some single-celled organisms such as Amoeba can divide by mitosis.

When does mitosis occur?

Mitosis occurs when a multicellular organism grows, or when tissues need to be replaced. It also happens in organisms that need to reproduce and can only do so by asexual means.

Does mitosis occur in prokaryotes?

Prokaryotes do not undergo mitosis but rather different types of cell division.

Is mitosis haploid or diploid?

Mitosis can be either haploid or diploid. It depends on the type of organism and type of cell that is undergoing mitosis. Certain organisms, such as fungi, have haploid cells that mitotically divide to form spores. In humans, our somatic (body) cells grow by undergoing mitosis.

Does mitosis produce haploid cells?

Mitosis only produces haploid cells if the original cell that is dividing is also haploid. To understand why you need to realize that this is not the same as meiosis. You can read on to learn what each of these divisions is and how they differ and are similar.

What is mitosis or meiosis?

Mitosis and meiosis are both different kinds of cell division. 

  • Mitosis is one division of the cell to produce two genetically identical cells. The chromosome number remains the same from parent to daughter cells. 
  • Meiosis is when a cell divides twice and produces four genetically different cells. The chromosome number is halved from parent to daughter cells.

How mitosis and meiosis are similar

Both mitosis and meiosis are ways in which living cells divide to produce daughter cells from a parent cell.

Who discovered mitosis?

Walther Flemming is the scientist who made the discovery of mitosis in 1879.

Can mitosis cause cancer?

Cancer is when mitosis goes wrong. A change in DNA is an error known as a mutation; this can cause cell division to occur out of control. Usually, there are controls on how cells divide and even DNA checks and repair. In cancer, the usual mechanisms fail and cells divide out of control. 


Mitosis is an essential process of cell division that occurs in the living cells of many organisms. In some organisms, mitosis is simply for growth while in others, it is a form of asexual reproduction.

Author: Dr. Rae Osborn

Dr. Rae Osborn holds Honours Bachelor of Science degrees in Zoology and Entomology, and Masters of Science in Entomology from the University of Natal in South Africa. She has received a PhD in Quantitative Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington. She was a tenured Associate Professor of Biology at Northwestern State University in Louisiana for 10 years. She also completed an AAS Degree in Information Network Specialist and an AAS in Computer Information Systems, at Bossier Parish Community College in Louisiana.
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