2.5.3 - State that interphase is an active period in the life of a cell when many metabolic reactions occur, including protein synthesis, DNA replication and an increase in the number of mitochondria and/or chloroplasts
This is always the
longest part of the cell cycle
. During interphase, the nucleus undergoes many changes. The chromosomes disperse as chromatin and become actively involved in protein synthesis. Copies of the information in particular genes or groups of genes are taken from the chromosomes for use in the cytoplasm. Proteins are assembled in the ribosomes by combining amino acids in sequences dictated by the information from the gene. The synthesis of new organelles takes place in the cytoplasm during interphase. There is intense biochemical activity in the cytoplasm and the organelles, and there is an
accumulation of stored energy
before nuclear division occurs again. Also, each chromosome replicates into the two identical structures called
. These remain attached until they divide in mitosis. In this time, the cell itself will continue to carry out its specialised function. The length of interphase varies between cell types. After cytokinesis, G
occurs: when various proteins are synthesised to allow the cell to specialise. Then, in the S stage, the DNA is replicated. G
is the preparation stage for mitosis. Mitochondria (and chloroplasts in plants) are replicated.
2.5.4 - Describe the events that occur in the four phases of mitosis (prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase)
During mitosis, the chromatids are separated and distributed to
two daughter nuclei
. Mitosis is a continuous process with no breaks in it, although we divide it into four stages.
The chromosomes become visible as long, thin threads. They shorten and thicken through the process of
. In supercoiling, DNA is combined with histone proteins and non-histone proteins to form the readily stainable chromatin. The genes must be left in