When Does Chromatin Condense to Form Chromosomes?

Chromatin condenses to form chromosomes during prophase of mitosis, and during prophase I and prophase II of meiosis. Chromatin is a dense, complex fibrous structure composed of associated proteins and molecules of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA, which contains the genetic material of an organism.

The two types of cellular division for multicellular organisms are called mitosis and meiosis. Mitosis produces two diploid daughter cells, while meiosis produces four haploid daughter cells. The prophase stages of both processes basically undergo the same steps. The chromatin is condensed 10,000 times into chromosomes to fit inside the nucleus of a cell, where cellular division occurs. When the chromatin becomes tightly packed, the replicated chromosomal DNA, called sister chromatids, are connected at the centromere.