Difference Between Mitosis & Meiosis

Cell cycle is one of the most breathtaking processes that helps the cells to not only grow but also divide. Cell cycle has two major phases :

  1. Interphase, which helps in the preparation of the cells for the division.
  2. M(Mitosis/Meiosis) phase, this phase carries out the division of the cell.

Major differences between Mitosis & Meiosis :

cell cycle of mitosis and meiosis

Mitosis is occurs in the somatic or body cells, while Meiosis is occurs in exclusively in the reproductive cells.
  • That means Mitosis occuring irrespective of whether the individual is a male or a female give rise to somatic cells, which are exact copies of the parent cells.
On the other hand Meiosis occurs in males and females giving rise to haploid sperm and egg cells respectively.
  •   The process of Meiosis however has different names in both the sexes, due to the different cells produced as an end result, Meiosis is also referred to as over genesis that is the process of ovum production in females and spermatogenesis that is the sperm production process in males.
Another major difference is that Mitosis is used as a mode of asexual reproduction in lower organisms, while Meiosis helps in forming gametes for sexual reproduction.
  • Mitosis has only one cell division while Meiosis involves two successive cell divisions. 
  • That simply means Mitosis is a single step cell division, while Meiosis is a two step cell division, and this results Meiosis having two phases namely Meiosis I and Meiosis II.
  • Mitosis produces two daughter cells, while Meiosis produces four daughter cells after completion of cell division.
One of the major difference between Mitosis & Meiosis is the chromosomal number of the daughter cells.

  • In Mitosis daughter cells are diploid with two sets of chromosomes just like parent cell,
  • In Meiosis daughter cells produced are produced haploid with only one set of chromosome. These daughter cells of Meiosis are called gametes. Gametes have exactly half the number of chromosome from the parent cells.
  • The two daughter cells that are produced by Mitosis are genetically similar to each other. While the all four daughter cells produced by Meiosis are genetically different from each other.

Mitosis process has four stages of cell division which are:
  - Prophase,
  - Metaphase
  - Anaphase,
  - Telophase.
Meiosis has two round of cell division and the process has a total eight stages of cell division which are -
- Prophase I,    - Prophase II, 
- Metaphase I, - Metaphase II,
- Anaphase I,   - Anaphase II,
- Telophase I,  - Telophase II.

  • Mitosis occurs in all organisms except viruses, while Meiosis occurs only in Plants, Animals and Fungi.

Deeper comparison between Mitosis & Meiosis :

  • The first stage of Meiosis one that is Prophase I is very long phase consisting of other sub stages. On the other hand Prophase of Mitosis is comparatively shorter than Prophase I.
  • Crossing over does not occur in Prophase of Mitosis, while crossing over definitely occurs in Prophase I of Meiosis.
  • Independent assortment is technically absent in the Metaphase of Mitosis, while it occurs in Metaphase I of Meiosis.
  • The separation of chromatids takes place during Anaphase of the Mitosis, and on the other hand the separation of homologous chromosomes takes place during Anaphase I and the separation of sister chromatids during Anaphase II of Meiosis.

Important tasks for these two processes perform in our body 

  • Mitosis helps in the healing and repairing of the cells and tissues of our body. It's also responsible for the growth and the development of the body.
  • Meiosis however helps exclusively introducing gametes, this ensures genetic diversity.