Difference Between Mitosis and Meiosis

Life started from the cell, with the help of cell division organisms can grow and reproduce.

The organisms with single-cell, cell reproduction happens to give life to the next generation, whereas in multi-celled organisms, cell division happens for reproduction as well as growth & replacement of worn-out cells of the body.

Cell division is a complex and multi-stage process. In eukaryotic cells, mitosis and meiosis are the two process through which new cells gets reproduced.

A similarity exists between them due to the fact of involvement of diploid cells i.e. division of cell happens through the two sets of chromosomes but the purpose of the process is different.

Mitosis vs Meiosis

The difference between Mitosis and Meiosis can be identified through how and what cells get reproduced.

In Mitosis, a process of asexual reproduction, a cell is divided into two thus creating a duplicate, with an identical number of chromosomes in an individual produced diploid cell i.e. somatic cell.

Mitosis is essential as it replaces the damaged or dead or cells that have a limited life. Examples include skin cells, blood cells, fat cells, or any cell other than sex cells.

In Meiosis, a type of sexual cellular reproduction, the number of chromosomes is decreased by half within the division of homologous chromosomes, creating two haploid cells. It is responsible for genetic recombination i.e. new gene combinations.

Mitosis vs Meiosis


Comparison Table Between Mitosis and Meiosis (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonMitosisMeiosis
DefinitionMitosis is an asexual cell division process that occurs in all types of body cells except sex cells.Meiosis is a sexual cell division process through gametogenesis that happens in meiocytes.
Place of Cell DivisionSomatic CellsGerm Cells
Cell DivisionOnceTwice
Number of Daughter CellsTwo daughter cells are reproduced.Four daughter cells are reproduced.
Reproduction ModeAsexual Reproduction.Sexual Reproduction.
Discovered ByWalther Flemming.Oscar Hertwig.
PhasesOne complete cycle pass-through

1. Prophase
2. Metaphase
3. Anaphase
4. Telophase
One complete cycle pass-through

Meiosis Phase 1
1. Prophase 1
2. Metaphase 1
3. Anaphase 1
4. Telophase 1

Meiosis Phase 2
5. Prophase 2
6. Metaphase 2
7. Anaphase 2
8. Telophase 2
FunctionsMitosis happens in cellular growth and majorly during the body healing and repairing mechanism i.e. replacing the damaged or dead or cells that have limited life.Meiosis happens in sexual reproduction and gamete formation. This manages the maintenance of chromosomes counts i.e. a genetic diversity.
Mother CellsIt can be haploid or diploid.Always diploid.
Cell Crossing OverNo`Yes
Number of ChromosomesThe number remains the same.The number reduced by half.


What is Mitosis?

Mitosis is a process of asexual reproduction of cells. In this, a nucleus of the cell gets divided into two i.e. daughter nuclei.

The number of chromosomes in each daughter cell is equal to the parent nucleus.

Mitosis is important for eukaryote cells that are single-celled and in multi-celled it performs the functions of repair mechanism and body growth. In the process of Mitosis, species, type of cells, place, and temperature matters.

Mitosis was discovered by the scientist named “Walther Flemming”. It is also referred to as a continuous process of cell division.

Mitosis cycle span across four stages or phases, which are

  1. Prophase – It is a shorter stage where the chromosome becomes condense and thick, and the nuclear membrane disintegrates and the formation of spindle fibers starts.
  2. Metaphase – Here, duplicate chromatids of the chromosomes get aligned to the cell midline.
  3. Anaphase – In this stage, with the help of spindle fibers, separation of each chromatid pair starts and moves towards the opposite direction to the end of the cell.
  4. Telophase – In this stage, decondensation of the chromosomes happens. The formation of nuclear membrane and spindle fibers starts again around the nucleoli and the cytoplasm gets divided into two daughter cells, each having the same number of chromosomes.

Chromatids in Mitosis are thin and long.


What is Meiosis?

Meiosis is a process of cell division through sexual reproduction. In this, Meiosis I and Meiosis II happens where two nuclear division of cell happens and four sex cells or haploid gametes are produced.

Each cell in meiosis carries a pair of chromosomes i.e. among cells a random distribution of parental and maternal chromosomes happens.

Non-identical sex cells are produced in Meiosis through two consecutive meiotic nuclear divisions i.e. Meiosis I and Meiosis II.

Both, Meiosis I and Meiosis II are a four-stage process that is Prophase, Metaphase, Anaphase, and Telophase.

Cells get duplicated in Interphase where chromosomes get condense and progress towards the opposite end and try to get paired with their homologous, during crossing over.

Post this; two cells are formed with this cell division. This ends the process of Meiosis I and Meiosis II get started with these newly formed cells.

These two new cells again get separated into two that contain the decoupled chromatids. After this, four different haploid cells are formed which are genetically different.

Chromatids in Meiosis are thick and short. Meiosis is an integral process for life continuity and genetic variation of living organisms.

Meiosis was discovered by the scientist named “Oscar Hertwig”. 


Main Differences Between Mitosis and Meiosis

To summarize, the main difference between Mitosis and Meiosis are,

  1. Mitosis is an asexual reproduction process, whereas Meiosis is a sexual reproduction process.
  2. In Mitosis, division of body cells happens, whereas in Meiosis, division of sex cells happens.
  3. In Mitosis, cell division happens only once, whereas, in Meiosis, division of cells happens twice.
  4. In Mitosis, the number of chromosomes remains the same, whereas, in Meiosis, the number of chromosomes gets reduced to half.
  5. In Mitosis, two daughter cells are reproduced, whereas, in Meiosis, four daughter cells are reproduced.
  6. Mitosis is responsible for cellular growth and body healing or repairing mechanism i.e. replacing the damaged or dead or cells that have limited life, whereas Meiosis manages the maintenance of chromosomes counts i.e. managing the life continuity and genetic variation of living organisms.
Difference Between Mitosis and Meiosis



Living organisms’ body is a composite and complex system where several processes are happening. But each process starts with one single input i.e. a Cell.

A cell is an initiator of life, where each cell is different and performs different task but the main purpose is to offer growth and development of the body.

Cell division is necessary for reproduction as well as regeneration that is taken care of by Mitosis and Meiosis.

The difference between Mitosis and Meiosis can be easily made if one understands their process of functioning.

Mitosis is responsible for correcting or repairing the genetic defects as well as replacing the damaged cells, whereas Meiosis is essential for life continuity and genetic variation of living organisms.

Both are an indispensable process for all living organisms, no matter small or big.

Key Differences Between Mitosis and Meiosis (PDF Format)

Download the key differences in .PDF format, to read or print them later:

Difference Between Mitosis and Meiosis



  1. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.genet.35.102401.091334
  2. https://www.pnas.org/content/100/1/193.short
  3. https://rupress.org/jcb/article-abstract/22/3/521/16380
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