Mitosis is a form of cell division in which a cell divides to form two identical daugther cells.
- The chromosomes in the nucleus of the cell duplicate to form a diploid cell. This now contains 46 pairs of chromosomes
- The nuclear membrane disappears and the chromosomes arrange themselves on the equator of the cell.
- Spindle fibres in the cell pull the chromosomes (or chromatids) apart so that a full set of chromosomes is present at the poles of the cell.
- The cell then splits in a process of cytokinesis.
- Two new identical daughter cells are formed.
Mitosis is an important part of the growth and repair process. It occurs rapidly all the time in some parts of the body and in some plants as cells die and others divide to replace them.
Mitosis ensures that the chromosome number remains constant and the genes present are identical. Otherwise, different amino acids would be coded for, and the same types of cells in your body would be carrying out different, contradictory jobs.