High School Biology : Understanding Stages of Mitosis

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for High School Biology

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Example Question #1 : Understanding Stages Of Mitosis

A cell is arrested during mitosis. At this stage, distinct chromatids are visible at opposite poles of the cell. Which stage of mitosis does this describe?

Possible Answers:

Metaphase

Prophase

Telophase

Anaphase

Correct answer:

Anaphase

Explanation:

The phases of mitosis can be described as follows:

During prophase chromatin condenses to form discrete chromosomes.

During metaphase microtubules attach to the kinetochores and chromatids begin segregating.

During anaphase sister chromatids have been separated and reside at opposite poles of the cell.

During telophase both sets of chromatids are surround by new nuclear membranes and chromosomes decondense into chromatin.

Cytokinesis (the dividing of the cytoplasm into two cells) follows telophase.

If the cell were arrested during telophase, distinct chromatids would no longer be visible.

Example Question #2 : Understanding Stages Of Mitosis

What is the correct order of the stages of mitosis?

Possible Answers:

Prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase

Anaphase, metaphase, telophase, prophase

Anaphase, metaphase, prophase, telophase

Metaphase, telophase, anaphase, prophase

Prophase, anaphase, telophase, metaphase

Correct answer:

Prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase

Explanation:

Mitosis is the process of cell division, and is separated into four stages. During prophase, the chromosomes condense and the nuclear envelope dissolves. During metaphase, the chromosomes align at the center of the cell. During anaphase, the sister chromatids are separated and pulled to opposite ends of the cell. During telophase, the nuclear envelope begins to re-form around the divided chromatids.

Example Question #3 : Understanding Stages Of Mitosis

Which of the following events does not take place in prophase?

Possible Answers:

The nucleolus disappears

Chromosomes become visible in the cell

Sister chromatids are separated

Centrioles move to the opposite ends of the cell

Correct answer:

Sister chromatids are separated

Explanation:

Prophase is the first stage of mitosis, during which the cell begins to position itself in order to separate the chromatids and divide. During prophase, the nuclear envelope and nucleolus are dissolved and the chromosomes condense. The centrioles and spindle fibers begin to form at opposite poles of the cell.

Chromatid separation is not seen until anaphase.

Example Question #3 : Understanding Stages Of Mitosis

What is the correct order of the steps of mitosis?

Possible Answers:

Prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase, cytokinesis

Anaphase, prophase, metaphase, telophase, interphase

Anaphase, cytokinesis, metaphase, prophase, telophase

Prophase, interphase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase

Correct answer:

Prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase, cytokinesis

Explanation:

There are five main steps of mitosis.

  • Prophase: the nuclear envelope breaks down, chromosomes condense, and spindle fibers connect to sister chromatids.
  • Metaphase: spindle fibers pull sister chromatids to the metaphase plate at the equator of the cell.
  • Anaphase: spindle fibers separate sister chromatids to opposite poles of the cell.
  • Telophase: chromatids reach the poles of the cell, the spindle fibers detach, and cleavage at the metaphase plate/equator begins to form.
  • Cytokinesis: the cell cytoplasm splits completely in half where the cleavage formed, giving two identical daughter cells with the same chromosomes as the parent.

Some scientists classify cytokinesis as its own event, separate from mitosis. Interphase is a portion of the cell cycle for growth, and is not a part of mitotic division.

Example Question #4 : Understanding Stages Of Mitosis

In which phase of mitosis do chromosomes align at the center and spindle fibers become visible?

Possible Answers:

Metaphase

Anaphase

Telophase

Prophase

Interphase

Correct answer:

Metaphase

Explanation:

Mitosis involves four distinct stages: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase.

Prophase is the first step of mitosis, during which chromosomes condense and the nuclear envelope dissolves. Metaphase follows prophase. During metaphase, the chromosomes align in the center of the cell at the equatorial plate and the spindle fibers attach to the centromeres of the chromosomes. Anaphase involves the retraction of the spindle fibers and the separation fo sister chromatids. The nuclear envelope begins to develop and the cell prepares for the final division during telophase. Cytokinesis is not generally included in the phases of mitosis, and refers to the final separation of the cell cytoplasm into two identical daughter cells.

Interphase refers to the portion of the cell cycle during which the cell is not dividing, and includes the G1, S, and G2 phases.

Example Question #5 : Understanding Stages Of Mitosis

What is the correct sequence of the stages of the M phase of the cell cycle?

Possible Answers:

Metaphase, prophase, anaphase, telophase

Prophase, anaphase, metaphase, telophase

Telophase, anaphase, metaphase, prophase

Prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase

Correct answer:

Prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase

Explanation:

The mitosis (M) phase of the cell cycle has four sequential stages: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase. In the first stage, prophase, each chromosome becomes condensed and more visible, and there is the breakdown of the nuclear membrane and appearance of spindle fibers. In the next phase, metaphase, the chromosomes line up along the metaphasic plate. The spindle fibers are completely formed and are attached to each sister chromatid of the chromosomes. Next, during anaphase, the centromeres holding the sister chromatids together are divided and the sister chromatids are pulled apart by the spindle fibers to opposite poles of the diving cell. During the last phase of mitosis, telophase, the two sets of chromosomes reach the poles of the cell. This is followed by the reformation of the nuclear envelope, uncoiling of the DNA, and disappearance of the spindle fibers.

Example Question #4 : Understanding Stages Of Mitosis

The division of centromeres occurs during which phase of mitosis?

Possible Answers:

Telophase

Cytokinesis

Prophase

Metaphase

Anaphase

Correct answer:

Anaphase

Explanation:

Centromeres are the structures at the center of each chromosome that hold the sister chomatids together. The division of the centromeres occurs during anaphase. This allows for the separation of each sister chromatid into its respective daughter cell.

Mitosis has four sequential stages: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase. In prophase, each chromosome becomes condensed and more visible, and there is the breakdown of the nuclear membrane and appearance of spindle fibers. In the next phase, metaphase, the chromosomes line up along the metaphasic plate. The spindle fibers are completely formed and are attached to each sister chromatid of the chromosomes. Next, during anaphase, the centromeres holding the sister chromatids together are divided and the sister chromatids are pulled apart by the spindle fibers to opposite poles of the diving cell. During the last phase of mitosis, telophase, the two sets of chromosomes reach the opposite poles of the cell. This is followed by the reformation of the nuclear envelope, uncoiling of the DNA, and disappearance of the spindle fibers. After the M phase is the separation of the cytoplasm, known as cytokinesis, which results in two distinct daughter cells.

Example Question #9 : Cell Division

Which of the following events is characteristic of telophase in mitosis?

Possible Answers:

Formation of spindle fibers

Separation of sister chromatids

Breakdown of nuclear envelope

Uncoiling of chromosomes

Correct answer:

Uncoiling of chromosomes

Explanation:

Mitosis has four sequential stages: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase. In prophase, each chromosome becomes condensed and more visible, and there is the breakdown of the nuclear membrane and appearance of spindle fibers. In the next phase, metaphase, the chromosomes line up along the metaphase plate. The spindle fibers are completely formed and are attached to each sister chromatid of the chromosomes. Next, during anaphase, the centromeres holding the sister chromatids together are divided and the sister chromatids are pulled apart by the spindle fibers to opposite poles of the diving cell. During the last phase of mitosis, telophase, the two sets of chromosomes reach the opposite poles of the cell. This is followed by the reformation of the nuclear envelope, uncoiling of the DNA, and disappearance of the spindle fibers. After the M phase is the separation of the cytoplasm, known as cytokinesis, which results in two distinct daughter cells.

Example Question #1 : Cell Division

In which phase of mitosis does a cell utilize a specific control mechanism to verify its readiness for DNA synthesis?

Possible Answers:

G1

S

Telophase

G2

Prophase

Correct answer:

G1

Explanation:

The G1 phase is the first phase within interphase. It can more easily be remembered as the "first growth" phase. During this period the cell increases its supply of proteins while also increasing the number of organelles (such as ribosomes and mitochondria) in addition to growing in size. This stage is critical toward making sure that the cell has appropriate resources for DNA synthesis. After G1, S phase proceeds. 

Example Question #1 : Understanding Stages Of Mitosis

In which phase has the cell left the cell cycle and has stopped dividing, in other words, which of the following is the resting phase?

Possible Answers:

S phase

G0

G2

Telophase 

G2 phase

Correct answer:

G0

Explanation:

G0 phase is a post-mitotic phase. It may be a permanent (as often is the case for neurons) or semi-permanent (for some liver, kidney, and stomach cells) phase. Epithelial cells do not enter G0, allowing these cells to continue to divide throughout an organisms life. 

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