Mitosis Glossary

Index of Common Mitosis Terms

Microscope image of plant cells with three nuclei in anaphase
Microscope image of plant cells with three nuclei in anaphase. Alan John Lander Phillips / Getty Images

Mitosis Glossary

Mitosis is a form of cell division that enables organisms to grow and reproduce. The mitosis stage of the cell cycle involves the separation of nuclear chromosomes, followed by cytokinesis (division of the cytoplasm forming two distinct cells). At the end of mitosis, two distinct daughter cells are produced. Each cell contains identical genetic material.

This Mitosis Glossary is a good resource for finding succinct, practical, and meaningful definitions for common mitosis terms.

Mitosis Glossary - Index

  • Anaphase - stage in mitosis where chromosomes begin moving to opposite ends (poles) of the cell.
  • Allele - an alternative form of a gene (one member of a pair) that is located at a specific position on a specific chromosome.
  • Asters - radial microtubule arrays found in animal cells that help to manipulate chromosomes during cell division.
  • Cell Cycle - the life cycle of a dividing cell. It includes Interphase and the M phase or Mitotic phase (mitosis and cytokinesis).
  • Centrioles - cylindrical structures that are composed of groupings of microtubules arranged in a 9 + 3 pattern.
  • Centromere - a region on a chromosome that joins two sister chromatids.
  • Chromatid - one of two identical copies of a replicated chromosome.
  • Chromatin - mass of genetic material composed of DNA and proteins that condense to form chromosomes during eukaryotic cell division.
  • Chromosome - a long, stringy aggregate of genes that carries heredity information (DNA) and is formed from condensed chromatin.
  • Cytokinesis - division of the cytoplasm that produces distinct daughter cells.
  • Cytoskeleton - a network of fibers throughout the cell's cytoplasm that helps the cell maintain its shape and gives support to the cell.
  • Daughter Cell - a cell resulting from the replication and division of a single parent cell.
  • Daughter Chromosome - a chromosome that results from the separation of sister chromatids during cell division.
  • Diploid Cell - a cell that contains two sets of chromosomes. One set of chromosomes is donated from each parent.
  • Genes - segments of DNA located on chromosomes that exist in alternative forms called alleles.
  • Haploid Cell - a cell that contains one complete set of chromosomes.
  • Kinetochore - a specialized region on the centromere of chromosome where spindle polar fibers attach to the chromosome.
  • Kinetochore Fibers - microtubules that connect kinetochores to spindle polar fibers.
  • Interphase - stage in the cell cycle where a cell doubles in size and synthesizes DNA in preparation for cell division.
  • Metaphase - stage in mitosis where chromosomes align along the metaphase plate in the center of the cell.
  • Microtubules - fibrous, hollow rods, that function primarily to help support and shape the cell.
  • Mitosis - a phase of the cell cycle that involves the separation of nuclear chromosomes followed by cytokinesis.
  • Nucleus - a membrane-bound structure that contains the cell's hereditary information and controls the cell's growth and reproduction.
  • Polar Fibers - spindle fibers that extend from the two poles of a dividing cell.
  • Prophase - stage in mitosis where chromatin condenses into discrete chromosomes.
  • Sister Chromatids - two identical copies of a single chromosome that are connected by a centromere.
  • Spindle Fibers - aggregates of microtubules that move chromosomes during cell division.
  • Telophase - stage in mitosis where the nucleus of one cell is divided equally into two nuclei.

More Biology Terms

For information on additional biology related terms, see the Genetics Glossary and Difficult Biology Words.