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Meiosis/Reduction division
 The term Meiosis is derived from Greek word ‘meio’ which means

lessen and was coined by J B Farmer and J.E.S. Mooree in 1905.

 Meiosis is a special type of cell division (reduction division)

for sexual reproduction in eukaryotes such as animals, plants and

fungi, resulting in four daughter cells each with half the number of
chromosomes that of the parents.

 It occurs in meiocytes eg germ (sex) cells or in gonads (testes and

ovaries) during gamete formation.

History of meiosis
 In 1876 meiosis was first discovered and described in sea urchin eggs by the
German biologist Oscar Hertwig.
 In 1883 it was described at the level of chromosomes, by the Belgian
zoologist Edouard Van Beneden.
 In 1890 the significance of meiosis for reproduction and inheritance, was
described by German biologist August Weismann, who noted that two cell
divisions were necessary to transform one diploid cell into four haploid cells if
the number of chromosomes had to be maintained.
 In 1911 the American geneticist Thomas Hunt
Morgan observed crossover in Drosophila melanogaster meiosis and provided
the first genetic evidence that genes are transmitted on chromosomes.
 In 1905 the term meiosis was introduced by J.B. Farmer and J.E.S. Moore.
Figure. n vitro maturation of Xenopus oocytes and assay of maturation-promoting factor
Lab Exercise # 8 Zoo- 145

Meiosis is the type of cell division by which germ
cells (eggs and sperm) are produced

One parent cell produces four daughter cells

Daughter cells have half the number of chromosomes

found in the original parent cell
Lab Exercise # 8 Zoo- 145

In Meiotic Division the nucleus divides twice and the
chromosomes divide once only

The meiotic cell division has two subdivisions in


1-The first meiosis: Reductional division (2n -- n)

2-The second meiosis: Equational division (similar to

Two Parts:

• Meiosis I:
– Separation of homologous pairs

• Meiosis II:
– Separation of sister chromatids
Stages of Meiosis
Meiosis - I

Prophase I Metaphase I Anaphase I Telophase I

Meiosis - II

Prophase II Metaphase II Anaphase II Telophase II

Stages of meiosis I and meiosis ii
 It is the first stage of prophase I.

 Also known as leptonema, from Greek origin

meaning "thin threads”.
 In this stage individual chromosomes each
consisting of two sister chromatids become
condense into visible strands within the nucleus.
 However the two sister chromatids are tightly bound
that they are indistinguishable from one another.
 The synaptonemal complex assemble.

 Leptotene is of very short duration and progressive

condensation and coiling of chromosome fibers
takes place
Synaptonemal complex
 The synaptonemal complex (SC) is a protein structure

that forms between homologous chromosomes (two

pairs of sister chromatids) during meiosis and is
thought to mediate chromosome pairing, synapsis, and
 The zygotene or zygonema, from Greek origin
meaning "paired threads”.
 Homologous chromosomes line up with each
other into pairs.
 At this stage, the synapsis (pairing/coming
together) of homologous chromosomes takes
place from the centromere the chromosome ends
or portion.
 Individuals of a pair are equal in length and in
position of the centromere. Thus pairing is highly
specific and exact.
 The paired chromosomes are called bivalent or
tetrad chromosomes.
 The pachytene or pachynema, from Greek words
meaning "thick threads“.
 It is the stage when chromosomal crossover(crossing
over) occurs.
 Nonsister chromatids of homologous chromosomes
may exchange segments over regions of homology.
 Sex chromosomes, however, are not wholly identical,
and only exchange information over a small region of
 At the site of exchange chiasmata form.
Recombination of information occurs.
 The actual act of crossing over is not perceivable
through the microscope, and chiasmata are not visible
until the next stage.
. Diplotene
 Diplotene or diplonema, from Greek words meaning
"two threads",
The following are the important features of this stage,
 During this stage the synaptonemal complex gets
degraded and due to this degradation the homologous
chromosomes separate from each other except at the
 Due to this separation the dual nature of a bivalent
becomes apparent and hence the name diplotene.
 The chromosomes uncoil a little to allow transcription
of DNA.
 The chiasmata regions remain on the chromosomes
until they are separated in the anaphase.
 Chromosomes condense further during
the diakinesis stage, from Greek words meaning
"moving through".
The following are the changes in Diakinesis stage:
 The Chromosomes continue to contract.

 The separation of chromosome becomes

complete due to terminalisation. The separation
starts from the centromeres and goes towards the
end and hence the name terminalisation.
 The nucleolus and nuclear membrane disappear

 The formation of spindle starts from the

centrioles of centromeres
Metaphase I
The following are the changes in
Metaphase I stage:
 The nuclear membrane disappears

 Centrioles reach the opposite poles

 The spindle fibres become prominent

and get connected to the centromere
of the homologous chromosomes.
 The bivalents align on the equatorial
Anaphase I
The following are the changes taking place
in Anaphase I:
 The two chromosomes of each bivalent
with chromatids still attached to the
centromere separate from each other and
move to the opposite poles of the cell.
 Thus, only one chromosome of each
homologous pair reaches each pole.
 Consequently at each pole only half the
number of chromosomes (haploid) is
Telophase I
This is the last stage of meiosis I. The following are
the changes taking place in this stage:
 Reorganization of the chromosomes at poles
occurs to form two haploid nuclei.
 Nuclear membrane is reformed around the
polarised group of chromosomes.
 Nucleolus also re-appears.

 The spindle disappears.

 The cell membrane constricts and two daughter

cells are formed.
 The second meiotic division may follow
immediately or after a short inter phase.
 The second meiotic division is very much similar to


 But the only difference is that the DNA does not

duplicate whereas the centromeres do duplicate.

Meiosis II is also called as the mitotic or equational
Maintain constant chromosome
Crossing over creates variation
Genetic Variation