Mitosis and the cell cycle


Cells divide in a series of stages called the cell cycle. Students should be able to describe the stages of the cell cycle, including mitosis.

During the cell cycle the genetic material is doubled and then divided into two identical cells.

Before a cell can divide it needs to grow and increase the number of sub-cellular structures such as ribosomes and mitochondria. The DNA replicates to form two copies of each chromosome.

In mitosis one set of chromosomes is pulled to each end of the cell and the nucleus divides.

Finally the cytoplasm and cell membranes divide to form two identical cells.

Students need to understand the three overall stages of the cell cycle but do not need to know the different phases of the mitosis stage.

Cell division by mitosis is important in the growth and development of multicellular organisms.

Students should be able to recognise and describe situations in given contexts where mitosis is occurring.