Biology as Poetry: Cell Division

Bacteriophage Ecology Group


Post-initiation of chromosome condensation and nucleolus disappearance stage of mitosis, during which the nuclear membrane disappears and otherwise chromosomes complete their journeys toward the center of the cell.

When prophase is broken down into two substages of mitosis, this are termed prophase and then prometaphase. We can compare the two stages by drawing up a list of events that occur during prophase in the broader sense, indicating what steps are instead associated with prometaphase (PM) when instead prophase (PR) is more narrowly defined:

     (PR) Centrosomes begin to move towards poles of cell
     (PR) Chromatin begins to condense
     (PR) Chromosomes become visible through light microscope
     (PR) Nucleoli disappear
     (PM) Nuclear membrane disappears
     (PM) Mitotic spindles invade region normally occupied by nucleus
     (PM) Chromosomes fully condense
     (PM) Chromosomes interact with kinetochore microtubules
     (PM) Chromosomes move towards metaphase plate
     (PM) Chromosomes reach metaphase plate

Keep in mind that all of these steps occur during prophase when otherwise prophase and prometaphase are not distinguished.

Prometaphase otherwise begins at the end of prophase and ends a metaphase.

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