The essential differences between mitosis and meiosis are as follow

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(a) Mitosis occurs in all somatic cells while meiosis is limited to germinal cells only.

(b) In mitosis, one replication cycle of DNA is followed by one division, resulting in diploid cells. In Meiosis, one replication of DNA is followed by two divisions, resulting in haploid cells.

(c) In mitosis DNA replication occurs in the ‘S’ phase, which is followed by G2. In meiosis there is a premeiotic DNA synthesis, which is very long and followed immediately by meiosis.

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(d) In mitosis, each chromosome behaves independently, while in meiosis there is pairing of homologous chromosomes.

(e) Mitosis last 1 to 2 hours and meiosis lasts longer; in the male it may last 24 days and in the female, several years.

(f) In mitosis, the genetic material remains constant, and in meiosis there is genetic variability.

The essential processes of meiosis are:

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(a) pairing of homologous chromosomes;

(b) Formation of chiasmata with underlying genetic recombination;

(c) Segregation of the homologous chromosomes.

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