Significance of Meiosis

Meiosis is the process in which the parent cell divides twice into four daughter cells containing half the original amount of genetic information, i.e., the daughter cells are haploid. The gametes are produced by meiosis.

Features of Meiosis

  • It results in the formation of four daughter cells in each cycle of cell division.
  • The daughter cells are identical to the mother cell in shape and size but different in chromosome number.
  • The daughter cells are haploid.
  • Recombination and segregation take place in meiosis.
  • The process occurs in the reproductive organs and results in the formation of gametes.
  • The process is divided into two types- Meiosis-I reduces the chromosome number to half and is known as reductional division. Meiosis-II is just like the mitotic division.

Significance

  1. Meiosis is responsible for the formation of sex cells or gametes that are responsible for sexual reproduction.
  2. It activates the genetic information for the development of sex cells and deactivates the sporophytic information.
  3. It maintains the constant number of chromosomes by halving the same. This is important because the chromosome number doubles after fertilization.
  4. In this process independent assortment of maternal and paternal chromosomes takes place. Thus the chromosomes and the traits controlled by them are reshuffled.
  5. The genetic mutation occurs due to irregularities in cell division by meiosis. The mutations that are beneficial are carried on by natural selection.
  6. Crossing over produces a new combination of traits and variations.

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