Rieder, Conly L. Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and Research, Albany, New York.
Last reviewed:October 2016
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- Mitotic spindle
- Regulation of mitosis
- Stages of mitosis
- Chromosome movement
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The series of visible changes that occur in the nucleus and chromosomes of non-gamete-producing plant and animal cells as they divide. During mitosis, the replicated genes, packaged within the nucleus as chromosomes, are precisely distributed into two genetically identical daughter nuclei (Fig. 1). The series of events that prepares the cell for mitosis is known as the cell cycle. When viewed in the context of the cell cycle, the definition of mitosis is often expanded to include cytokinesis, the process by which the cell cytoplasm is partitioned during cell division. Although the continuity of heredity by cell division was first predicted by Rudolf Virchow in 1858, the central role of mitosis was not fully understood until the mid-1900s, when the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) within chromosomes was proven to contain the hereditary blueprints for life. See also: Cell (biology); Cell cycle; Cell division; Cell nucleus; Chromosome; Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); Gene
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