Meiosis II

In some species, cells enter a brief interphase, or interkinesis, before entering meiosis II. Interkinesis lacks an S phase, so chromosomes are not duplicated. The two cells produced in meiosis I go through the events of meiosis II at the same time. During meiosis II, the sister chromatids within the two daughter cells separate, forming four new haploid gametes. The mechanics of meiosis II is similar to mitosis, except that each dividing cell has only one set of homologous chromosomes. Therefore, each cell has half the number of sister chromatids to separate out as a diploid cell undergoing mitosis.

Prophase II

If the chromosomes decondensed in telophase I, they condense again. If nuclear envelopes were formed, they fragment into vesicles. The centrosomes that were duplicated during interkinesis move away from each other toward opposite poles, and new spindles are formed.

Prometaphase II

The nuclear envelopes are completely broken down, and the spindle is fully formed. Each sister chromatid forms an individual kinetochore that attaches to microtubules from opposite poles.

Metaphase II

The sister chromatids are maximally condensed and aligned at the equator of the cell.

Anaphase II

The sister chromatids are pulled apart by the kinetochore microtubules and move toward opposite poles (Figure 1). Non-kinetochore microtubules elongate the cell.

In meiosis II, the connected sister chromatids remaining in the haploid cells from meiosis I will be split to form four haploid cells. The two cells produced in meiosis I go through the events of meiosis II in synchrony. Overall, meiosis II resembles the mitotic division of a haploid cell. During meiosis II, the sister chromatids are pulled apart by the spindle fibers and move toward opposite poles.

Figure 1 In prometaphase I, microtubules attach to the fused kinetochores of homologous chromosomes. In anaphase I, the homologous chromosomes are separated. In prometaphase II, microtubules attach to individual kinetochores of sister chromatids. In anaphase II, the sister chromatids are separated.

Telophase II and Cytokinesis

The chromosomes arrive at opposite poles and begin to decondense. Nuclear envelopes form around the chromosomes. Cytokinesis separates the two cells into four unique haploid cells. At this point, the newly formed nuclei are both haploid and have only one copy of the single set of chromosomes. The cells produced are genetically unique because of the random assortment of paternal and maternal homologs and because of the recombining of maternal and paternal segments of chromosomes (with their sets of genes) that occurs during crossover.

The entire process of meiosis is outlined in Figure 2.

Figure 2 An animal cell with a diploid number of four (2n = 4) proceeds through the stages of meiosis to form four haploid daughter cells.

Summary of Meiosis II

Meiosis II begins with the 2 haploid cells where each chromosome is made up of two connected sister chromatids. DNA replication does NOT occur at the beginning of meiosis II. The sister chromatids are separated, producing 4 genetically different haploid cells.

References

Unless otherwise noted, images on this page are licensed under CC-BY 4.0 by OpenStax.

OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. May 27, 2016http://cnx.org/contents/s8Hh0oOc@9.10:1Q8z96mT@4/Meiosis

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