4.2.3 - Outline the process of meiosis, including pairing of homologous chromosomes and crossing over, followed by two divisions, which result in four haploid cells
In this stage, the nuclear membrane is intact and the chromosomes are not densely wound. In the
, the chromosomes are still single DNA molecules with their histones. In the
, there is replication of chromosomes. Sister chromatids are held together at the centromere.
The DNA condenses by super coiling and become visible. Homologous chromosomes pair up. Crossing over occurs as there is breakage and reunion of parts of chromatids - this is the exchange of genetic material between the non-sister chromatids. The nuclear membrane breaks down and spindles form from the microtubules at opposite ends of cell, organised by the centrioles
The pairs of homologous chromosomes line up along the equator. The spindle fibres attach to the centromere. The random orientation of the chromosomes means that the maternal or paternal chromosome may move to either pole.
Spindle fibres shorten, pulling the chromosomes towards the opposite poles. Sister chromatids remain attached at the centromere. Each pole will have a complete haploid set of chromosomes consisting of one member of each homologous pair.