What Are the Three Stages of the Cell Cycle of a Eukaryotic Cell?

According to the National Institute of Health, or NIH, there are actually four stages of the cell cycle of a eukaryotic cell: M phase, G1 phase, S phase and G2 phase. Not all eukaryotic cells complete the cycle at the same pace, meaning the type of cell dictates the amount of time.

Whether it is a human eukaryotic cell, which takes 24 hours to complete a cycle, or yeast, which takes only about 90 minutes, all eukaryotic cells go through the same four phases as stated by the NIH. The order of the stages remains the same, regardless of cell type.The NIH describes the phases as:

  1. M phase - This phase is also known as mitosis. During this phase, the cell experiences nuclear division and cytokinesis, which is the division of the cell's cytoplasm.
  2. G1 phase - This phase is a resting phase between M phase and S phase. It is a gap phase where the cell is still growing but is not replicating.
  3. S phase - This is the synthesis phase in which DNA replication takes place. It is important that the DNA is precisely replicated in order to avoid genetic abnormalities.
  4. G2 phase - This is another gap phase, or resting phase. During this period the cell prepares to start the cycle again from the M phase.