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3.1 Cell cycle
The life of a cell begins with its
formation by cell division of a mother
cell and ends with either the formation of
daughter cells or with its death. The cell
cycle can be regarded as the life cycle of
an individual cell. It can divided into two
·Mitosis (or cell division)—which
results in the production of two daughter
·Interphase—the interval between
divisions during which the cell undergoes
its functions and prepares for mitosis.
A typical cell spends most of its life in
interphase. This portion of the cell cycle
is divided into three phases, G1, S, and
Major phases of the cell cycle, showing the
alternation of interphase and mitosis (division).
Interphase = G1+S+G2.
G1—Cell grows and carries out normal
S—DNA replication.
G2—Cell grows and prepares for
3.2 Mitosis and meiosis
3.2.1 Overview of cell division
Mitosis is the type of cell division that
occurs in somatic cells and results in the
production of two genetically identical
daughter cells.
Meiosis occurs in gamete formation
(e.g. sperm and ova). Each daughter cell
contains half the genetic information of
the parent cell and crossing-over ensures
a reassortment of genetic material
between the chromosomes of each
homologous pair.
3.2.2 Mitosis
There is condensation of chromosomes and the
centrioles duplicate and migrate towards opposite
poles of the cell. The nucleolus disappears. A spindle
of microtubules is formed simultaneously.
Dissolution of the nuclear membrane marks the
end of prophase.
The chromosomes become attached to the spindle.
The area of attachment is called the kinetochore. The
chromosomes become arranged along the spindle,
forming the equatorial plate.
Chromatids separated at the centromeres and are
pulled to opposite poles by the spindle. The end of
anaphase is marked by the clustering of two groups
of identical chromatids of opposite poles of the cell.
The chromosomes begin to uncoil. The nuclear
membrane re-forms and nucleoli reappear. The
cytoplasm is divided into two by the process of
Two identical diploid daughter cells are
formed as a result of mitosis.
3.2.3 Meiosis
Meiosis Ⅰ
Prophase Ⅰ
There are five stages during which
homologous chromosomes come together
and exchange segments in homologous
Spindle forms.
Homologous chromosomes pair, shorten, and
thicken, and form bivalents (pairs of homologous
Chiasmata begin to form. Chiasma is the X-
shaped connection visible between paired
homologous chromosomes. These become points of
“crossing-over” between the chromatids.
Exchange of genetic material in chiasmata.
Recombinant chromosomes are formed and the
nuclear membrane disappears.
homologous crossing-over genetic
chromosomes recombination
Metaphase Ⅰ
Like mitotic metaphase, chromosomes become
attached to a spindle.
Anaphase Ⅰ
The chromatids do not separate and the
homologous chromosomes are pulled by the spindle
fibers toward opposite poles of the cell.
So only half of the original number of
chromosomes migrate toward each pole.
The chromosomes migrating toward
each pole thereby consist of one member
of each pair of autosomes and one of the
sex chromosomes, hence “reduction
Telophase Ⅰ
Two genetically different daughter cells are
formed. These cells contain only one member of
each pair of homologous chromosomes.
Meiosis Ⅱ
The second division is like mitosis. The chromatids
separate in anaphase Ⅱ.
Two processes in meiosis are vital in
the generation of genetic diversity:
·Chiasmata formation (“crossing-
over”), which allows random exchange of
genetic material between homologous
·Independent segregation of
homologous chromosomes.
Meiosis generates four haploid germ
cells from one diploid premeiotic cell.
3.2.4 Relationship between meiosis and
The stage of meiosis can be related
directly to stages in gametogenesis, the
formation of gametes. In mature males
the seminiferous tubules of the testes are
populated by spermatogonia, which are
diploid cells. After going through several
mitotic divisions, the spermatogonia
produce primary spermatocytes. Each
primary spermatocyte, which is also
diploid, undergoes meiosis Ⅰ to produce a
pair of secondary spermatocytes. These
undergo meiosis Ⅱ, and each produces a
pair of haploid spermatids. The
spermatids then lose most of their
cytoplasm and develop tails for
swimming as they become mature sperm
cells. This process, known as
spermatogenesis, continues throughout
the life of the mature male.
In spermatogenesis, the primary spermatocyte
divides by meiosis, giving rise to four spermatids; the
spermatids differentiate, becoming mature sperm
In spermatogenesis, each diploid
primary spermatocyte produces four
haploid sperm cells.
Oogenesis, the process in which female
gametes are formed, differs in several
important ways from spermatogenesis.
Whereas the cycle of spermatogenesis is
constantly recurring in males, much of
female oogenesis is completed before
birth. Diploid oogonia
divide mitotically to produce primary
oocytes. Primary oocytes are suspended
in prophase Ⅰ by the time the female is
born. Meiosis continues only when a
mature primary oocyte is ovulated. In
meiosis Ⅰ the primary oocyte produces
one secondary oocyte (containing the
cytoplasm) and one polar body. The
secondary oocyte then emerges from the
follicle and proceeds down the fallopian
tube, with the polar body attached to it.
Meiosis Ⅱ begins only if the secondary
oocyte is fertilized by a sperm cell. If so ,
one haploid mature ovum, containing the
cytoplasm, and another haploid polar
body are produced. The polar bodies
eventually disintegrate. After
fertilization, the nuclei of the sperm cell
and ovum fuse, forming a diploid zygote.
The zygote then begins its development
into an embryo through a series of
mitotic divisions.
In oogenesis, only one functional ovum is produced
from each primary oocyte; the other three cells
produced are polar bodies that degenerate.
In oogenesis one haploid ovum and
three haploid polar bodies are produced
meiotically from a diploid primary oocyte.
After we have learned this chapter we
should be able to:
1.Identify the stages in the cell cycle.
2.Contrast the events of mitosis and
3.Compare spermatogenesis with