What Are the Stages of Meiosis 1 and 2?

stages-meiosis-1-2 Credit: Garry DeLong/Oxford Scientific/Getty Images

The stages of meiosis 1 and 2 are as follows: prophase I, metaphase I, anaphase I, telophase I, cytokinesis, prophase II, metaphase II, anaphase II, telophase II and cytokinesis again. There are two steps of cytokinesis during meiosis, because the cell must divide twice in order to end up with gametes that have only one set of chromosomes. DNA replicates before meiosis.

The steps of meiosis are very similar to those of mitosis, except that different chromosomes are separating during anaphase I and II. During prophase I and metaphase I, each replicated chromosome lines up with its homologous chromosome in the center of the cell. During anaphase I and telophase I, the homologous chromosomes separate and the cell undergoes cytokinesis to split into two cells.

The difference between meiosis I and mitosis is that after cytokinesis, the daughter cells end up with both sister chromatids following the DNA replication, rather than a single copy of all the chromosomes, as in the original cell.

Meiosis II follows after the end of meiosis I. DNA does not replicate again before meiosis II. During prophase and metaphase II, the sister chromatids line up in the center of the cell. Anaphase and telophase II result in the division of the copies of each chromosome, which creates gamete cells that have only a single copy of each chromosome, rather than the two copies found in somatic cells.