AAT Bioquest

How does a eukaryotic cell divide?

Posted June 6, 2022


A eukaryotic divides by the process of mitosis. This is a relatively more complex process than the simple binary fission cell division process seen in prokaryotic cells. During the process of mitosis, the parent cell divides into two genetically identical daughter cells. Each daughter cell contains the exact same number of chromosomes as the parent cells. Mitosis occurs in six phases: 

  • Prophase – The cell begins preparing for the division of chromosomes by breaking down existing structures and creating new structures. A mitotic spindle forms on the edges of the dividing cell.
  • Prometaphase – The nuclear envelope fragments into several small vesicles that are later divided between the future daughter cells.
  • Metaphase – Pairs of condensed chromosomes align along the equator of the cell, at right angles to the spindle poles.  
  • Anaphase – When all chromosomes are correctly aligned and attached, the sister chromatids separate abruptly.
  • Telophase – The fragmented nuclear envelope gets rebuilt as two new nuclear envelopes each one surrounding the two newly developed sister chromatids.
  • Cytokinesis – This involves the final division of the cytoplasm, resulting in two separate but genetically identical daughter cells. 
Additional resources

Cell Navigator™CDy6 Mitosis Imaging Kit