Meiosis is the nuclear division in eukaryotic organisms that produces haploid (n) nuclei from diploid (2n) nuclei. In animals, the resulting functional cells are the gametes, egg and sperm. In plants, fungi, and some protists, the resulting functional cells are spores.

Regardless of the organism in which meiosis occurs, the overall stages of the process are similar. Details in most of the variations in meiosis are beyond the scope of this general review of meiosis. A list of references is provided for the reader interested in more advanced treatments of meiosis.

As you go through the slide show, note that the images selected for this site are to illustrate the generalized, typical view of the represented stages of meiosis. Most of the images have been taken through a compound light microscope with either the 40X objective or the 100X oil immersion objective. The material was prepared by either the Feulgen or orcein methods detailed in the article in The American Biology Teacher by Braselton.

I've seen many text books and web pages about meiosis that incorrectly define meiosis. Viz., they treat it only as a process that happens in animals, and/or use the term "tetrad" for what should be called a "bivalent." Is the Microscopic Review of Meiosis web site making any difference to those of you interested in meiosis? Please let me know if you find this web site informative and useful. Suggestions are always helpful. Cheers! ~jpb


James P. Braselton, PhD

PDF version if you would like this review of meiosis on your hand-held device.