Mitosis vs. Meiosis: Side by Side Comparison


Captions are on! Click CC button at bottom right to turn off! In biology, there are often vocabulary terms
that sound pretty similar. Chromosome. Chromatid. Chromatin. Transcription. Translation. Mitosis. Meiosis. You probably have encountered this. When I was first learning about mitosis and
meiosis, I learned them both separately first. And then I tried to figure out what was the
same about them, what was different, why did they both matter? I would try to compare the stages by flipping
through images. You know what would have helped me? A side by side comparison. And that’s what this video is. We assume you already have a background of
mitosis and meiosis—if not take a look at our videos on them—but this video is a side
by side comparison. Presented in a split screen. Mitosis on the left. Meiosis on the right. Both of these processes, along with the cytokinesis
that follows them to split the cytoplasm, are involved in making new cells. Mitosis results in body cells. Meiosis results in sperm and egg cells, otherwise
knows as the fancy term, gametes. Before we start mitosis and meiosis, let’s
look at what you start with. Your starting cell in both mitosis and meiosis
is diploid, written here as 2n. That means it has 2 sets of chromosomes—in
humans, that’s including one set of 23 chromosomes from mom and one set of 23 chromosomes from
dad. 46 chromosomes total in humans. During interphase, the cell duplicates the
chromosomes. When you duplicate 46 chromosomes, you still
say there are 46 chromosomes as the newly duplicated portion is still attached at the
centromere region—but there are actually 92 chromatids. Interphase isn’t part of mitosis or meiosis,
but it’s a really important phase because it duplicates chromosomes before we get started. Just to point out, it’s really hard to draw
46 chromosomes which is how many humans have. We’re going to use 6 chromosomes in our
diagrams when we illustrate what’s happening because it’s much easier to draw and visualize. Oh and just a fun fact: some insects have
6 chromosomes. Like mosquitoes. Unfortunately, I am not a fan of mosquitoes. But mosquitoes do mitosis and meiosis too. When learning the stages, we give the acronym
PMAT which is helpful for understanding the stages. Both mitosis and meiosis go through these
stages, but meiosis goes through them twice and therefore has a number next to each PMAT
stage. We’re going to show some basic events for
each PMAT stage, but please know there is way more detail to explore than what we can
include in this quick video. Prophase in mitosis. Remember that “pro” can mean “before”
and this stage comes before the others. The chromosomes are visible; in fact, we say
they’re condensing which means they are thickening. Prophase I in meiosis. Happening here too, but the chromosomes are
actually going to match up with their homologous pairs. The word homologous means that the chromosomes
are approximately the same size and that they contain the same types of genes in the same
locations. With each pair, one came from mom and one
came from dad. In this formation, chromosomes can transfer
their genetic information and exchange it between each other. It’s called crossing over! It can make for what we call recombinant chromosomes. Metaphase in mitosis. The nuclear envelope which had surrounded
the nucleus was already disassembled before metaphase started. For metaphase, I like to remember the M for
middle because in this stage the chromosomes line up in the middle of the cell in a single
file line. Metaphase I in meiosis. The chromosomes are in the middle as well,
but they’re still going to be in pairs in the middle of the cell so it’s not a single
file line. Anaphase in mitosis. I like to think as the A is for “away.” The chromatids are pulled away by the work
of the spindles. They are moving to the opposite sides of the
cell. Anaphase I in meiosis. Same thing but in this case, it’s the chromosomes-
not chromatids- being pulled away to opposite sides of the cell. Telophase in mitosis and telophase I in meiosis. The chromosomes are at the complete opposite
ends and new nuclei are forming on each side to make these two new cells. And they are starting to surround the chromosomes
on both sides as this will eventually form 2 cells. Cytokinesis follows to split the cytoplasm
to complete the actual dividing of the cell. So at the end of mitosis and cytokinesis,
we end with two identical, diploid cells. In humans, they would both have 46 chromosomes. This is great for organism growth—growing
requires making more cells after all—or replacing damaged cells. On to meiosis II! Prophase II. Chromosomes condensing in both cells. It’s not going to be as eventful as it was
in prophase I because they are not going to have homologous pairs and crossing over. Metaphase II. M for middle, but this time, the chromosomes
are in a single file line. Similar to how metaphase looked in mitosis. Anaphase II. Think A for away. This time, though, it’s actually the chromatids
that are getting pulled away. Telophase II. Chromosomes are at the complete opposite ends
and new nuclei are forming on each side to make new cells. Cytokinesis will follow meiosis II to completely
split the cytoplasm. We are now finished with meiosis: and we end
with four non-identical cells. Gametes. Males makes sperm cells in meiosis and females
make egg cells in meiosis. These gametes are haploid, meaning they have
half the number of chromosomes as the original starting cell. In the case of humans, the resulting cells
would each have 23 chromosomes. By the way, when a sperm and egg cell combine,
it results into a diploid cell, a fertilized egg otherwise known as a zygote, which will
then start a series of divisions using mitosis to give rise to a brand new organism. Well, that’s it for the Amoeba Sisters,
and we remind you to stay curious!

Danny Hutson

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