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Lab 3: Mitosis and Meiosis

Purpose: To recognize the stages of mitosis in a plant or animal cell, and calculate the relative duration

of the cell cycle stages. Then, use chromosome models to demonstarte the activity of chromosomes

during meiosis I and II. Finally, compare and contrast the results of meiosis and mitosis in plant and

animal cells.

Experimental Design:

Exercise 3A.1: Prepared slides of whitefish blastula and onion root tips were observed under the 10X

and 40X objectives in order to study individual cells. A cell in each stage of mitosis was identified, and


Exercise 3A.2: Using a high power objective, every cell in a field of view was observed. Each cell was

counted as being in one of the stages of mitosis, and then recorded. At least 200 cells and 3 fields of

vision were counted and recorded. Next, the percentage of cells in each stage was recorded and the

amount of time spent in each phase was calculated.

Exercise 3B.1: In this part of the lab, a chromosome simulation kit was used to demonstrate meiosis.

Two strands of the same color were connected to simulate DNA replication in both of the homologous

pairs. Next, the chromosomes were entwined to represent synapsis. Sections of beads were switched

between the pairs as in crossing over and were aligned at the equator. Next, anaphase was simulated as

the homologous pairs were separated and then telophase was simulated by pushing the chromosomes

into two separate cells. Meiosis II was simulated as well. The DNA is not replicated in Interphase II.

The chromosomes again move to the equator and in Anaphase II the two chromatids were separated

and moved to opposite poles. Telophase II separates them into four different cells.


Part A.1:

1. During interphase the cell is non-dividing. During interphase, DNA replication occurs. The first
sign of division occurs in prophase. During prophase there is a thickening of the chromatin

threads, which continues until the chromatin have condensed into chromosomes. At metaphase

the chromosomes have moved to the center of the spindle. During anaphase, the centromere

regions of each pair of chromatids separate and are moved by spindle fibers toward opposite

poles of the spindle, dragging the rest of the chromatid behind them. Once the two chromatids

separate, each is called a chromosome. These daughter chromosomes continue their poleward

movement. During telophase, the last stage of division, cytokinesis may occur. This is the

division of the cytoplasm into two daughter cells. In animal cells, the old cell will pinch off in

the middle along a cleavage furrow to form two new daughter cells.

2. Mitosis differs in plant and animal cells during cytokinesis. In plants, a new cell wall is laid

down between the daughter cells which accomodates the inflexible cell wall. In animal cells, the

old cell will pinch off in the middle along a cleavage furrow to form two new daughter cells.

Also, in higher plants the process of forming new cells is restricted to special growth regions

called meristems.

3. The centrosome is absolutely necessary for mitosis, because the centrosome is the microtubule

organizing centre for the cell. All microtubules are generated from the centrosome. The

centrosome also surrounds the centrioles, which make spindle fibers.

Part A.2:

1. There would be virtually no cells undergoing division, so many more of the cells observed

would have been in interphase where they elongate an differentiate. Because the root tip is the

main area of growth and the meristem is the region that contains the highest percentage of cells

undergoing mitosis, observations elsewhere would have practically non-existant results.

2. Interphase is the longest stage of mitosis and then going in sequential order each decreases in
the length of time it takes to complete.

3. Included on back.

Part B:

1. During prophase homologous chromosomes come together and synapse along their entire

length. This pairing, or synapsis of homologous chromosomes represents the first big difference

between mitosis and meiosis. During anaphase, while simulating meiosis, the homologous

chromosomes separate and are pulled to opposite sides of the cell, representing a second

significant difference between the events of mitosis and meiosis. Finally, DNA replication does

not occur during interkinesis in meiosis, representing a third difference between mitosis and


2. Included on back.

3. Meiosis I ends in two chromosomes with two chromatids and Meiosis II ends in four

chromosomes with only one chromatid. Meiosis I is the reduction division, it is the first division

reducing the chromosome number from diploid to haploid and separates the homologous pairs.

Meiosis II, the second division, separates the sister chromatids, producing four haploid gametes.

4. Oogeneis forms the eggs and spermatogenesis forms the sperm.

5. Meiosis makes the chromosome number come out in half so that fertilization can come back

and restore the diploid number, and increases genetic variation in the population.

Evaluation: There was little chance for error in this lab. It was mostly observation and sketching.

However in Exercise 3A.2, there is a distinct possibility we miscounted, the telophase number was

extremely low. Misidentification could have caused errors in the other parts of this lab as well.