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Stages of mitosis

Mitosis is the division of one nucleus with two copies of 'x-shaped' chromosomes to form two nuclei, each with one copy of single-stranded chromosomes.

The table below summarises the four stages of mitosis:

Stage Diagram
Prophase

The spindle network forms.

Inside the nucleus, the genetic material condenses into visible chromosomes.

Metaphase

The nucleus breaks down.

Chromosomes line up along the cell equator.

Anaphase

Spindle network contract.

Chromosomes are split, each chromatid goes to the opposite side of the cell.

Telophase

Two new nuclei form.

Cell membrane pinches in, forming two new cells.

At the end of mitosis, both nuclei are diploid; they contain two versions of each chromosome.