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1.6.4. Biological importance of mitosis and meiosis

Biological importance of mitosis and meiosis

Cell reproduction occurs through two different processes: mitosis and meiosis.

  • Mitosis.
    • In unicellular beings. Its purpose is the asexual reproduction of the organism. The cell reproduces and the number of individuals in the population increases, all of them identical to the parent.
    • In multicellular beings. Its purpose is to increase cells so that the body can grow, renew damaged cells and renew tissues.
  • Meiosis.
    • It produces haploid sex cells (n), the gametes. As they have half the chromosomes of somatic cells (2n), when fertilization occurs with another gamete (n), they will give rise to a diploid zygote.
    • Increases genetic variability. In the prophase I the occurs crossing over of homologous chromosomes, making each containing genetic information and gamete information exchanged both parents. Thus, each offspring has unique genetic information, ensuring genetic variability. The natural selection (and artificial) determine what changes are beneficial or harmful, favoring the evolution of species.