Mitosis' significance is cell division, which enables an organism to grow and reproduce. During mitosis, a single cell divides and produces two identical daughter cells. Each cell contains the same genetic material and chromosome number as the original cell.
Mitosis is preceded by the S cycle of cell division and followed by cytokinesis, which is the splitting of the cytoplasm. There are four distinct phases of mitosis: prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase. German physician and cell biologist Walther Flemming is credited for being the first to describe the process of cell division and chromosome separation. During the time of his work, it was not known that chromosomes contained genetic material.