Meiosis is called reduction division because it reduces the number of chromosomes in a cell. It does this by halving the chromosome pairs and then swapping them between sister cells. This means that there are only 23 chromosomes total in a meiotic cell, whereas somatic cells have 46.
Meiosis also occurs in male gametes, but it is still called reduction division because sperm cells can only donate half of the number of chromosomes as eggs.
Written by: Anne Mather September 13th 2014 at 11:00pm EDT Introduction to Biology student @ The Ohio State University and Co owner of Darwin’s Theory Blog (darwinstheoryblog.com) on why meiosis is called “reduction division”. You can email her at: [email protected]
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Introduction to Biology student @ The Ohio State University and Co-owner of Darwin’s Theory Blog (darwinstheoryblog.com) on why meiosis is called “reduction division”. You can email her at: [email protected] – September 13th 2014 11:00pm EST
Some, or all, of the text in this long-form content can be used to create a short version that is less than three paragraphs.
I get asked why meiosis is called “reduction division” at least twice every semester from my college biology students. Usually I have them read Chapter 19 of their textbook and then quiz them on it when they return for class next week. However, since I also co-own Darwin’s Theory blog (Darwinstheoryblog.com) dedicated to discussing science topics with an emphasis on evolution by natural selection which includes discussion about genetics and cells processes such as mitosis and meiosis – I figured maybe most people don’t want to read through 300+ pages just to learn what “meiosis ” means. This post is my attempt to answer that question, and I’ll do it in an easy-to-read format because we’re all busy people here!
Ok first off why should you care about meiosis? Well, as a species evolves over time the population of members within it can change their physical characteristics so they are better suited for whatever environment they’re in. For example, some populations of squirrels have evolved to be about twice the size than they were a hundred years ago because their habitats are now much more urbanized and they need bigger bodies so that predators can’t move them as easily or catch them without too much trouble.
In order for evolution to happen in any population there has to be variation among individuals – if every single member was exactly the same then nothing would ever change since all members would die at the same time due to things such as diseases with no immunity built up over generations from surviving similar infections. This is why meiosis happens – it creates an even larger amount of genetic variation between cells by splitting each cell into two daughter cells which go on and reproduce until we