Dictionary > Metaphase


The phase following prophase and preceding anaphase of cell divisions (i.e. mitosis and meiosis), and highlighted by the alignment of condensed chromosomes along the metaphase plate
Cell divisions in eukaryotes, particularly mitosis and meiosis, are important since they give rise to new cells. Mitosis produces two cells that are genetically identical. Meiosis produces four cells that are genetically dissimilar and in which the chromosomes are reduced by half. Both mitosis and meiosis are comprised of chronological phases: (1) prophase, (2) metaphase, (3) anaphase, and (4) telophase. Since meiosis is comprised of first and second meiotic divisions, these phases occur twice, each designated as I and II.
Metaphase is that phase that follows after prophase, when the chromatin condenses and become more visible (i.e. via the process of chromatin condensation). At metaphase, the condensed chromosomes align along the metaphase plate (equator) and the microtubules formed during prophase will attach to the kinetochores.
In meiosis, metaphase occurs twice, i.e. metaphase I at first meiotic division and metaphase II at second meiotic division.
Word origin: Greek meta (in the middle) + phase, phásis (“appearance”)”
See also:

Related term(s):

  • metaphase I
  • metaphase II
  • metaphase plate
  • prometaphase

    You will also like...

    An artist's depiction of the origin of amphibians
    Amphibians & Early Reptiles

    Obtaining air outside an aquatic environment required species to acquire suitable adaptations, and this was the case of ..


    Bryophytes (nonvascular plants) are a plant group characterized by lacking vascular tissues. They include the mosses, th..

    Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung
    Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung

    In this tutorial, the works of Carl Gustav Jung and Sigmund Freud are described. Both of them actively pursued the way h..

    Homeostatic Mechanisms and Cellular Communication
    Homeostatic Mechanisms and Cellular Communication

    Homeostasis is the relatively stable conditions of the internal environment that result from compensatory regulatory res..

    Buttress roots

    This study guide tackles plant roots in greater detail. It delves into the development of plant roots, the root structur..

    The Human Physiology
    The Human Physiology

    Physiology is the study of how living organisms function. Thus, human physiology deals specifically with the physiologic..