What would happen if mitosis skipped metaphase?


Quick Answer

If mitosis skipped metaphase, the cell would most likely not divide, because the chromosomes must be in the center of the cell in order for anaphase to complete properly. However, it is still possible for the cell to split, but it would leave one daughter cell without chromosomes.

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Full Answer

Metaphase is when most of the errors during mitosis occur. If duplicate chromosomes do not pair properly during metaphase, or if metaphase was somehow skipped, the chromosomal pairs would not properly move to the opposite side of each daughter cell. This error results in one cell having both copies of the chromosome, while the other daughter cell has none. This type of error would be almost certainly fatal to the daughter cell lacking the copy of a chromosome. The cell that received an extra copy of the chromosomes would also run into problems.

When a cell has two copies of a chromosome, the expression of the genes contained within the extra chromosome is increased. This extra copy may be fatal to the cell if, for example, the genes in the chromosome function to slow down growth. This can have the opposite effect if the genes function to promote growth, which could cause the cell to grow uncontrollably, resulting in cancer.

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