What Happens During Metaphase II?

Chromosomes within a cell align along the equatorial plane during the metaphase II step of meiosis II, according to Scitable. Meiosis is the process by which multicellular organisms reproduce by dividing and replicating chromosomes among cells to pass on genetic traits.

Chromosomes align within the equator of the cell to prepare for the division of a cell's nucleus. In humans, 23 of the cell's 46 chromosomes move to one end of the nucleus while the other 23 chromosomes move to the opposite end. Metaphase II aligns the chromosomes so they can move properly towards the opposite ends, notes the Harvard CyberBridge.

Spindles form within a cell's nucleus, and single chromosomes align perpendicularly to the spindles, notes Pearson Education. This is unlike metaphase I, a process that involves the alignment of chromosome pairs rather than single chromosomes. At the end of metaphase II, chromosomes attach to small tubules at the poles of each cell nucleus to prepare for the next phase.

Metaphase II occurs after prophase II and before anaphase II during the overall meiosis II process, according to the Harvard CyberBridge. The amount of chromosomes in cells do not change during meiosis II. Meiosis produces egg cells in human females and sperm cells in human males, and meiosis is ultimately responsible for passing genetic information to offspring.