∞ generated and posted on 2016.08.27 ∞

Phase during mitosis when chromosomes are fully lined up and ready to be separated.

The chromosomes are said to be lined up on a metaphase plate. The importance of this step is that it assures that during anaphase a complete complement of chromosomes is moved towards each pole of the cell.

That is, the lining up sets things up so that half of the daughter-chromosomes-to-be are found on one side of the plate – representing what will be a complete complement of chromosomes – whereas the other half is found on the other side of the metaphase plate.

It is metaphase chromosomes that are the most familiar to us since these are the most commonly photographed and displayed. In particular, they are used for a process known as karyotyping which explicitly involves photographing all of the metaphase chromosomes found within a cell.