Meiosis is a specialized form of cell division that ultimately gives rise to non-identical sex cells. There are two successive nuclear divisions: meiosis I and meiosis II. Each of them has four major phases. These are prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase. Each of these phases is designated as I or II depending where it occurs, i.e. in meiosis I or in meiosis II. In both nuclear divisions (i.e. meiosis I and meiosis II), cytokinesis occurs. Cytokinesis is the division of the cytoplasm and the plasma membrane following the division of the nucleus resulting into two cells, each having its own nucleus and cytoplasm surrounded by a plasma membrane. After the first cytokinesis, there may be a short period of rest before the new cell proceeds to meiosis II. This resting period is called interkinesis or interphase II. It is called interphase II because the first interphase (i.e. interphase I) takes place before the cell enters meiosis I. It is in interphase I that the cell replicates its DNA. No DNA replication occurs in interphase II. Nevertheless, proteins and RNAs are synthesized before the cell proceeds to meiosis II. The spindle in meiosis I disassembles and the microtubules reassemble giving rise to new spindles for meiosis II.
Word origin: Latin inter- (between) + Greek kinēsis (motion, movement)