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Meiosis is the formation of egg and sperm cells. In sexually reproducing organisms, body cells are diploid, meaning they contain two sets of chromosomes (one set from each parent). To maintain this state, the egg and sperm that unite during fertilization must be haploid, meaning they each contain a single set of chromosomes. During meiosis, diploid cells undergo DNA replication, followed by two rounds of cell division, producing four haploid sex cells.

Images and animations are courtesy of the National Human Genome Research Institute's Talking Glossary (

Materials for Meiosis


How Cells Divide - Mitosis vs. Meiosis

Description: Information and an animation on mitosis and meiosis

How Meiosis Works

Description: An animation and practice quiz on meiosis


Description: An animation and overview on meiosis

Stages of Meiosis

Description: An animation of meiosis and a practice quiz

Unique Features of Meiosis

Description: An animation on meiosis with a practice quiz



Description: An overview of meiosis

Meiosis, Genetic Recombination, and Sexual Reproduction

Description: An article on meiosis

Mitosis Versus Meiosis

Description: Cells divide and reproduce in two ways, mitosis and meiosis. Mitosis results in two identical daughter cells, whereas meiosis results in four sex cells. Below we highlight the keys differences and similarities between the two types of cell division.

What is Meiosis?

Description: Meiosis is a process where a single cell divides twice to produce four cells containing half the original amount of genetic information. These cells are our sex cells – sperm in males, eggs in females



Description: Game-like software that teaches concepts of heredity, meiosis and the pathway from DNA to trait

Interactive Tutorials

Biology - Molecular and Cellular Biology

Description: Videos and practice problems teaching core concepts of cell biology, including cell growth and division


Description: Learn how meiosis and fertilization shuffle the alleles that offspring inherit

Sex Cells Have One Set of Chromosomes

Description: A interactive Web site exploring basic concepts of cell division (meiosis) through historical discovery

What is Meiosis?

Description: A tutorial using virtual dragons to teach meiosis and allelic recombination

Labs & Experiments

Making Reebops: A model for Meiosis

Description: Instructions for a classroom exercise modeling meiosis and gene expression (phenotype)

Mitosis and Meiosis - Pearson - The Biology Place

Description: In this virtual laboratory, you will study the process of mitosis in cells using slides of onion root tips or whitefish blastulae. You will also review the process of meiosis in a simulation activity with beads, and then investigate crossing over during meiosis in a fungus.

Preparing an Anther Squash

Description: A laboratory experiment using the stamen from a flower to demonstrate meiosis

Recombination Calculations by Branch Diagrams

Description: An expert authored advanced classroom laboratory experiment teaching a method for analyzing genetic recombination events


Cell Division

Description: Videos on meiosis, mitosis, and cell division

Egg Fertilization and Division

Description: A time lapse movie of egg fertilization and early cell division

The Cell: An Image Library

Description: A searchable library of images, videos, and animations of cells




Description: An animation of gametogenesis


Description: An animation and quiz on spermatogenesis