Biology » Cell Reproduction » The Cell Cycle

Summarizing the Cell Cycle


The cell cycle is an orderly sequence of events. Cells on the path to cell division proceed through a series of precisely timed and carefully regulated stages. In eukaryotes, the cell cycle consists of a long preparatory period, called interphase. Interphase is divided into G1, S, and G2 phases.

The mitotic phase begins with karyokinesis (mitosis), which consists of five stages: prophase, prometaphase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase. The final stage of the mitotic phase is cytokinesis, during which the cytoplasmic components of the daughter cells are separated either by an actin ring (animal cells) or by cell plate formation (plant cells).



stage of mitosis during which sister chromatids are separated from each other

cell cycle

ordered series of events involving cell growth and cell division that produces two new daughter cells

cell plate

structure formed during plant cell cytokinesis by Golgi vesicles, forming a temporary structure (phragmoplast) and fusing at the metaphase plate; ultimately leads to the formation of cell walls that separate the two daughter cells


rod-like structure constructed of microtubules at the center of each animal cell centrosome

cleavage furrow

constriction formed by an actin ring during cytokinesis in animal cells that leads to cytoplasmic division


proteins that help sister chromatids coil during prophase


division of the cytoplasm following mitosis that forms two daughter cells.

G0 phase

distinct from the G1 phase of interphase; a cell in G0 is not preparing to divide

G1 phase

(also, first gap) first phase of interphase centered on cell growth during mitosis

G2 phase

(also, second gap) third phase of interphase during which the cell undergoes final preparations for mitosis


period of the cell cycle leading up to mitosis; includes G1, S, and G2 phases (the interim period between two consecutive cell divisions


mitotic nuclear division


protein structure associated with the centromere of each sister chromatid that attracts and binds spindle microtubules during prometaphase

metaphase plate

equatorial plane midway between the two poles of a cell where the chromosomes align during metaphase


stage of mitosis during which chromosomes are aligned at the metaphase plate


(also, karyokinesis) period of the cell cycle during which the duplicated chromosomes are separated into identical nuclei; includes prophase, prometaphase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase

mitotic phase

period of the cell cycle during which duplicated chromosomes are distributed into two nuclei and cytoplasmic contents are divided; includes karyokinesis (mitosis) and cytokinesis

mitotic spindle

apparatus composed of microtubules that orchestrates the movement of chromosomes during mitosis


stage of mitosis during which the nuclear membrane breaks down and mitotic spindle fibers attach to kinetochores


stage of mitosis during which chromosomes condense and the mitotic spindle begins to form


refers to a cell that is performing normal cell functions and has not initiated preparations for cell division

S phase

second, or synthesis, stage of interphase during which DNA replication occurs


stage of mitosis during which chromosomes arrive at opposite poles, decondense, and are surrounded by a new nuclear envelope

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