The following images attempt to illustrate
the key events that occur during the stages of Mitosis. Clicking on each of the
thumbnail images will bring up a larger, labeled version of the
see the Flash movie for the following sequence of images,
The first stage of mitosis is called prophase. During this stage the DNA condenses into chromosomes.
The next stage is called prometaphase. During this stage the nuclear membrane breaks down and microtubules attach to the chromosomes.
Next comes metaphase where the chromosomes align at the middle of the cell.
After the chromosomes are aligned, anaphase begins. During this stage the microtubules, or spindle fibers, pull the chromosomes apart and move them to the opposite ends of the cell.
Next comes telophase. Here the spindle fibers are broken up.
During telophase the chromosomes also uncoil and two new nuclear membranes form around them. This is the end of mitosis.
Following mitosis, a contractile ring splits the cell into nearly equal halves during cytokinesis.
The organelles in the cell are also divided between the two new cells. Following cytokinesis, the two new cells are ready to perform their biological functions.