What Happens During Prophase?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 6, 2020 6:50:41 PM ET
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Prophase is one of the first phases of mitosis and it focuses on preparing the spindles, metaphase plate and chromosomes to work in the later phases of the process. Prophase exists in both mitosis and meiosis.

During mitosis and meiosis, prophase is the first phase of the division cycle after DNA replication in G and S phases. The main value of prophase is that the chromatin condenses to become chromosomes, which will later be separated in various ways during the final stages of mitosis and meiosis. The nucleolus in the nucleus also disappears and the cell membrane disappears, which makes it easy for the cell to start to divide into two. The miotic spindles on both sides of the cell, which is made of microtubules, is formed during prophase and gets ready to move. This is an important part of the division, as it pulls the chromosomes apart to their respective side.

In both meiosis and mitosis, prophase plays the same role; there are no differences between the three instances, except for the fact that meiosis is only with sex cells (gametes) and mitosis is with regular somatic cells. In meiosis, prophase happens twice because there are two divisions that result in four total cells.