Once both cell poles have a haploid set of chromosomes clustered around them, these chromosomes divide mitotically (without reshuffling or reducing the number of chromosomes during division) during the second part of meiosis. This time, the spindle fibers bind to both faces of the kinetochore, the centromeres divide, and the sister chromatids move to opposite cell poles. At the end of meiosis II, therefore, the cell has produced four haploid groups of chromosomes. Nuclear envelopes form around each of these four sets of chromosomes, and the cytoplasm is physically divided among the four daughter cells in a process known as cytokinesis.
In males, the four resulting haploid sperm cells all go on to function as gametes (spermatozoa). They are produced continuously from puberty onwards. In females, all primary oocytes enter meiosis I during fetal development but then arrest at the prophase I stage until puberty. During infancy and early childhood, the primary oocytes acquire various functional characteristics of the mature egg cell. After puberty, one oocyte a month completes meiosis, but only one mature egg is produced, rather than the four mature sperm cells in males. The other daughter cells, called polar bodies, contain little cytoplasm and do not function as gametes.
- Meiosis - Chromosomal Aberrations
- Meiosis - The Sources Of Genetic Diversity
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