Definitions for metaphaseˈmɛt əˌfeɪz
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the second stage of meiosis
the second stage of mitosis
the stage of mitosis and meiosis, that follows prophase and comes before anaphase, during which condensed chromosomes become aligned before being separated
Metaphase, from the ancient Greek μετά and φάσις is a stage of mitosis in the eukaryotic cell cycle in which condensed and highly coiled chromosomes, carrying genetic information, align in the middle of the cell before being separated into each of the two daughter cells. Metaphase accounts for approximately 4% of the cell cycle's duration. Preceded by events in prometaphase and followed by anaphase, microtubules formed in prophase have already found and attached themselves to kinetochores in metaphase. In metaphase, the centromeres of the chromosomes convene themselves on the metaphase plate, an imaginary line that is equidistant from the two centrosome poles. This even alignment is due to the counterbalance of the pulling powers generated by the opposing kinetochore microtubules, analogous to a tug-of-war between equally strong people, ending with the destruction of B cyclin. In certain types of cells, chromosomes do not line up at the metaphase plate and instead move back and forth between the poles randomly, only roughly lining up along the middleline. Early events of metaphase can coincide with the later events of prometaphase, as chromosomes with connected kinetochores will start the events of metaphase individually before other chromosomes with unconnected kinetochores that are still lingering in the events of prometaphase.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
The phase of cell nucleus division following PROMETAPHASE, in which the CHROMOSOMES line up across the equatorial plane of the MITOTIC SPINDLE APPARATUS prior to separation.
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