Mitosis and the cell cycle

Greg Foot explains the process of mitosis in growth and asexual reproduction

Multicellular organisms need cells to divide so that organisms can grow and repair damaged tissue.

Cells divide when:

  • an organism grows
  • an organism becomes damaged and needs to produce new cells

It is essential that any new cells produced contain genetic information that is identical to the parent cell.

The cell cycle

A growing and dividing cell goes through a series of stages called the cell cycle.

The first stages of the cell cycle involve cell growth, then synthesis of DNA. The single strand of DNA that makes up each chromosome produces an exact copy of itself.

The first stages of the cell cycle involve cell growth, then synthesis of DNA. The single strand of DNA that makes up each chromosome produces an exact copy of itself.

The cell undergoes a type of cell division called mitosis.

The process of mitosis, a form of cell division.

Before a cell can divide, it must grow and make copies of all the organelles such as mitochondria and ribosomes. The cell must also replicate the chromosomes in the nucleus, then it can divide by mitosis.

During mitosis, the two complete sets of chromosomes are pulled to opposite sides of the cell. Two new nuclei form. Then the cell splits into two daughter cells. These are both genetically identical to the parent cell.