The final phase following anaphase of cell divisions (i.e. mitosis and meiosis), and highlighted by the complete separation of the chromosomes
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.
Telophase is the final phase that follows after anaphase, i.e. when the chromosomes separate and move towards the opposite. At telophase, the chromosomes continue to move until they are completely separated and two sets of nuclei are formed. During late telophase, cytokinesis begins.
In meiosis, telophase occurs twice, i.e. telophase I at first meiotic division and telophase II at second meiotic division.
Word origin: Latin or Greek pró (before) + phase