The phase following metaphase and preceding telophase of cell divisions (i.e. mitosis and meiosis), and highlighted by the separation and movement of chromosomes from the metaphase plate towards the poles of the spindle
Cell divisions in eukaryotes, particularly mitosis and meiosis, are important since they give rise to new cells. Mitosis produces two cells that are genetically identical. Meiosis produces four cells that are genetically dissimilar and in which the chromosomes are reduced by half. Both mitosis and meiosis are comprised of chronological phases: (1) prophase, (2) metaphase, (3) anaphase, and (4) telophase. Since meiosis is comprised of first and second meiotic divisions, these phases occur twice, each designated as I and II.
Anaphase is that phase that follows after metaphase, i.e. when the chromosomes align at the metaphase plate and microtubules attach to the kinetochores. During anaphase, the chromosomes would now move towards the poles of the spindle.
Word origin: Latin or Greek aná (“back”) + phase, phásis (“appearance”)
- cell cycle
- cell division