Skip Navigation
Genetics Home Reference: your guide to understanding genetic conditions About   Site Map   Contact Us
 
Home A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine®
0-9 | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q-R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y-Z

Metaphase

Definition(s)

The second phase of mitosis, in which the chromosomes line up across the equatorial plane of the spindle prior to separation.

Definition from: NCI Thesaurus via Unified Medical Language SystemThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. at the National Library of Medicine

Metaphase is a stage during the process of cell division (mitosis or meiosis). Usually, individual chromosomes cannot be observed in the cell nucleus. However, during metaphase of mitosis or meiosis the chromosomes condense and become distinguishable as they align in the center of the dividing cell. Metaphase chromosomes are used during the karyotyping procedure that is used to look for chromosomal abnormalities.

Definition from: Talking Glossary of Genetic TermsThis link leads to a site outside Genetics Home Reference. from the National Human Genome Research Institute

See also Understanding Medical Terminology.

 
Published: May 18, 2015