The sequence of the cell cycle is G1, S, G2, mitosis and cytokinesis. G1 and G2 are "gap" phases during which the cell grows and prepares for other phases. The S phase is the stage when DNA is copied. Mitosis divides the copies of DNA, and cytokinesis creates two new cells.
The cell cycle is the process that cells use to grow and replace themselves. This cycle creates two identical daughter cells. The G1, S and G2 phases are preparatory phases for mitosis. They are often grouped together into a phase known as interphase.
Mitosis is the actual division of the genetic material in the cell's nucleus. Without this genetic material, the two new daughter cells are unable to perform essential cellular functions. Mitosis consists of prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase. The nuclear membrane dissolves during prophase, followed by the copied genetic material lining up in the center of the cell during metaphase. These copies are pulled to opposite poles during anaphase, and the nuclear membrane reforms around the separate DNA groups during telophase.
Mitosis is followed by cytokinesis. The cytoplasm of the cells is divided during this stage, with two distinctly separate cells being visible at the end of cytokinesis.