Biological Reproduction and Cell Division

By Rene Fester Kratz

Part of Biology For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Biology is all about life. In order for life to continue, reproduction has to occur at the cellular level so that genetic information (DNA) is replicated. The following concepts (mitosis and meiosis) are key to understanding how cells reproduce:

  • Cells do mitosis when they are going to make an exact copy of themselves for asexual reproduction, growth, or tissue repair. DNA replication occurs once, followed by a single division. The parent and daughter cells are both diploid, which means they have a double set of chromosomes.

  • Cells do meiosis in order to produce gametes (eggs and sperm) for sexual reproduction. DNA replication occurs once, followed by two divisions. The parent cell is diploid, but the daughter cells are haploid, which means they have half the number of chromosomes as their parent cells.