What is mitosis?

What is mitosis?

Cell division is the driving process of reproduction at the cellular level. Most eukaryotic cells divide in a manner where the ploidy or the number of chromosomes remains the same, except in the case of germ cells where the number of chromosomes is halved.

Definition of Mitosis: “Mitosis is that step in the cell cycle where the newly formed DNA is separated and two new cells are formed with the same number and kind of chromosomes as the parent nucleus.”

Features of Mitosis

  • In each cycle of cell division, two daughter cells are formed from the parent cell. 
  • The cell is also known as equational cell division because the chromosome number in the parent cell and daughter cell is the same.
  • In plants, mitosis leads to the growth of vegetative parts of the plant like the root tip, stem tip, etc.
  • Segregation and combination do not occur in this process.

The processes occurring during mitosis have been divided into different stages.

Functions of Mitosis

The following are the two important functions of mitosis:

  • Mitosis helps in the development of an organism. In single-celled organisms, mitosis is the process of asexual reproduction.
  • Mitosis helps in the replacement of damaged tissues. The cells near the damaged cells begin mitosis when they do not sense the neighboring cells. The dividing cells reach each other and cover the damaged cells.

Significance of Mitosis

  • Mitosis is responsible for the development of the zygote into an adult.
  • Equal distribution of chromosomes to each daughter cell.
  • It is responsible for the growth and development of an individual.
  • It maintains the constant number of chromosomes in all body cells of an organism.
  • Mitosis is required for asexual reproduction, and vegetative propagation in plants and is also responsible for the repair and regeneration of damaged tissues.
  • Mitosis helps in maintaining the purity of the genome as no recombination or crossing over takes place.
  • It is responsible for the repair and regeneration of old and damaged cells in animals e.g. gut epithelium, blood cells, etc.

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