Just like animal cells, plant cells undergo division through two processes called mitosis and meiosis. Sex cells or gametes are produced by meiosis, while most cells in the plant divide through mitosis.
Mitosis is divided into four phases: prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase. Meiosis, by contrast, takes place in two distinct stages, meiosis I and meiosis II. Each stage has four phases, so that meiosis I is divided into prophase I, metaphase I, anaphase I and telophase I, while meiosis II is divided into prophase II, metaphase II, anaphase II and telophase II.
During both processes, the chromatin fibers of the chromosome become condensed and the chromosomes are lined up along the center of the cell by spindle fibers. The spindle fibers pull the chromosomes apart, so that half of the chromosomes go to one daughter cell and half to the other. A new cell wall forms between the two dividing cells through formation of a cell plate from sacs called vesicles.
Meiosis and mitosis exhibit a number of crucial differences. No DNA replication takes place between meiosis I and meiosis II, so the end effect of meiosis is to create four daughter cells, each of which will have half as many chromosomes as the parent cell. During meiosis I, sections of the paternal and maternal copies of a chromosome can be exchanged to create recombinant chromosomes through a process called homologous recombination. This process increases genetic diversity in the plant's offspring and thus plays an important role in evolution.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
How Do Plant Cells Obtain Energy?
The sun is important to all living things. It is the original energy source for all ecosystems. Plants contain special mechanisms that...
Difference Between Plant & Animal Cell Division
Cell division consists of steps that lead to the creation of another cell. When plants and animals reproduce their cells asexually, the...
Do Plant Cells Have a Nucleolus?
DNA in both plant and animal cells is housed within a structure called a nucleus. When specimens are stained, a dense mass...
How Do Plant Cells Elongate?
Cell elongation is an important process for plant growth, especially in plant shoots. According to "Biology," plant cell elongation is believed to...
Where Does Meiosis Occur in Vascular Plants?
Most of the time when cells divide, they begin by duplicating their genetic content and sharing it between the resulting daughter cells,...
How to Divide a Cell in Two
When working within a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, you may decide that you want to split data in one cell over two cells--or...
How to Make a Plant Cell Model Step-by-Step
Cell models illustrate how cells work in plants and animals. The plant cell may be especially difficult for students to visualize, because...
What Are the Three Main Differences Between a Plant Cell and an Animal Cell?
All living organisms are made up of at least one cell. The cells of plants and animals exhibit similar basic components: both...