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We have already introduced the topic of meiosis in the Introduction to Cell Reproduction. In this SparkNote on Meiosis we will go into greater depth to explain the processes that comprise this type of cell division. Remember, whereas mitosis was involved in forming diploid somatic cells, meiosis results in the production of haploid germ cells. This difference in function between meiosis and mitosis results in a very different process of reproduction.

Meiosis is marked by two nuclear divisions, as opposed to the one division found in mitosis. The phases of these two nuclear divisions (meiosis I and meiosis II) bear the same name as those for mitosis, with a catch. The phases of meiosis I are called prophase I, prometaphase I, metaphase I, anaphase I, and telophase I. The phases of meiosis two are called prophase II, prometaphase II, etc.

We will begin our discussion with DNA replication and then move to meiosis I, as seems obvious. However, because prophase I involves special processes unique to meiosis, after briefly discussing DNA replication the first section will focus solely on prophase I. The second section will then look at the entirety of meiosis I (putting prophase I into context). Finally, the third section will examine meiosis II, thereby concluding our study of cellular reproduction.