What is Mitosis? – Definition

W. Flemming coined the term ‘Mitosis’.

Mitosis is the process by which a single cell divides and produces two daughter cells, each containing the same number of chromosomes and genetic content as that of the parent cell.

For various stages of mitotic division visit Mitosis stages. This will give complete idea about about the process of mitosis cell division.

Summary of Chromosomes and Chromatids during Mitosis

Mitotic stage Chromosomes Chromatids
G1 phase 2n 2n
G2 phase 2n 4n
S phase 2n 4n
Prophase 2n 4n
Metaphase 2n 4n
Anaphase 2n 4n
Telophase 2n At end 2n

Significance of Mitosis

  • Helps the cell to maintain proper size.
  • Helps to maintain equilibrium in the amount of DNA and RNA in the cell.
  • The dying, damaged and dead cells are replaced by mitosis.
  • Some animals can regenerate parts of the body by mitosis.
  • Mitosis is involved in asexual reproduction in certain organisms like in unicellular Amoeba and multicellular Hydra.
  • Sex cells depend on the mitosis for the increase in their number.
  • Some plants produce offspring which are genetically identical to themselves (clones).

Consequences of Mitosis

  • The resulting cells are identical.
  • No variation in genetic information.
  • No variation in chromosome number (maintains chromosomal set, each daughter cell receives chromosomes that are alike in composition and equal in number to the chromosomes of the parent cell).
  • The cells divide only once.