Mitosis: Somatic cell division

The objective of mitosis is to make two genetically identical cells from a single cell. In the cells of our body, we start with 46 chromosomes in a single cell and end up with 46 chromosomes in two cells. Obviously, replicating the chromosomes is a prerequisite to mitosis. Remember, replication takes place during interphase when the chromosomes are dispersed structures in the nucleus. Mitosis is an organized procession of activity in the cell that allows the replicated chromosomes to be properly divided into two identical cells. Chromosomes are important because they contain genes. Therefore we will include genes on our chromosome diagrams and slide show. These pictures depict the four stages of mitosis. We will describe the events at each stage that are important in understanding the distribution of genes during cell division.