Errors in Mitosis and Meiosis

Overview: Errors in Mitosis and Meiosis

This comprehensive exploration goes inside the intricate processes of mitosis and meiosis, shedding light on potential errors and their consequences. Here’s an overview of the key points covered:
What happens if Mitosis fails to work properly?

Mitosis is an accurate system for distributing DNA, it is really complex and consists of lots of cell elements that must cooperate and work efficiently to perform a specific task. When any of these complex actions fails, the outcomes can be adverse for the cell and the entire organism.

Mistakes throughout mitosis cause the production of daughter cells with a lot of or too few numbers of chromosomes. Errors in mitosis are the major source of numerical alterations in chromosome number observed in cancer.


Cancer (unrestrained cell division)

The multiplication of cells is so carefully controlled and responsive to the particular needs of the body, that process of cell death and birth are balanced to produce a steady-state. At some stage, the checkpoints, that manage the cell reproduction, breaks down. A cell in which this occurs starts to grow and divide in an unregulated style without the body’s need for more cells of its type.

When such cells produce new cells, which continue to proliferate in an uncontrolled fashion, an unwanted clone of cells, called a tumor is formed, which can expand indefinitely. Tumors arise often, specifically in older animals and people, and are of two fundamental types.

Some tumors are of small size and localized (not moved to other parts) called benign. The cells in this type typically behave like the typical cells and have little unhealthy effects, only due to either its interference with normal cells or its hormone-like secretions.

On the other hand, the cells composing a deadly tumor or cancer, divide more quickly, primarily invade adjacent cells and surrounding tissues, enter the body’s circulatory system, and set up areas of proliferation, away from their site of original growth.

This spread of tumor cells and the establishment of secondary locations of development is called metastasis. These are called malignant tumors or cancer cells. Cancer cells can be differentiated from regular cells as they are less differentiated than typical cells, display the attributes of quickly growing cells, i.e. high nucleus to cytoplasm ratio, prominent nucleoli, and lots of mitosis.

The presence of attacking cells in otherwise regular tissue is an indication of malignancy. Cancer is triggered mainly by anomalies in somatic cells. Second of all, cancer results from the accumulation of as few as three to as many as twenty mutations, in genes that control cell division.

These anomalies bring two standard modifications in the cancer cells. Initially, the metastatic cells break their contact with other cells and overcome the constraints on cell movement provided by a basal lamina and other barriers, eventually metastatic cells can get into other parts of the body. Second of all, they multiply, unlimitedly, without considering the checkpoints or programmes of the body.

Errors in Meiosis

Meiosis is an orderly phenomenon, which guarantees every stage with a suitable finish, but sometimes, at any point the result may be unexpected, causing abnormalities. One such abnormality is chromosome non-disjunction, in which chromosomes fail to segregate during anaphase and telophase and do not end with an equal distribution of chromosome among all the daughter nuclei. This result either increases or reduces in the number of chromosomes, triggering major physical, social, and mental illness. This non-disjunction may take place in the autosome or in the sex chromosome.

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Some examples of each type are discussed below in some detail.

Patau syndrome

Patau syndrome is a syndrome caused by a chromosomal abnormality, in which some or all of the cells of the body consist of extra hereditary material from chromosome 13. The extra genetic material interrupts regular advancement, triggering multiple and complex organ defects.

This can take place either because each cell contains a complete extra copy of chromosome 13 (a disorder referred to as trisomy 13), or because each cell contains an additional partial copy of the chromosome or since there are two different lines of cells – one healthy with the correct number of chromosomes 13 and one which contains an additional copy of the chromosome- mosaic Patau syndrome. Full trisomy 13 is caused by the nondisjunction of chromosomes during meiosis (the mosaic kind is triggered by nondisjunction during mitosis).

Like all nondisjunction conditions (such as Down syndrome and Edwards syndrome), the risk of this syndrome in the offspring increases with maternal age at pregnancy, with about 31 years being the average. Patau syndrome impacts somewhere between 1 in 10,000 and 1 in 21,700 live births.

Symptoms and signs consist of Intellectual impairment and motor condition, Microcephaly, Structural eye defects, Abnormal palm pattern, Overlapping of fingers over the thumb, kidney problems, etc.


Edwards syndrome

Edwards syndrome, also known as trisomy 18, is a genetic disorder caused by the existence of a third copy of all or part of chromosome 18. Numerous parts of the body are affected. Children are typically born little and have heart defects. Other features include a small head, little jaw, clenched fists with overlapping fingers, and serious intellectual disability.


clenched fists by Edward syndrome

The majority of cases of Edwards syndrome happen due to issues during the formation of the reproductive cells or during early development. The rate of disease increases with the mother’s age. Rarely, cases might be inherited from an individual’s parents. Sometimes, not all cells have the extra chromosome, referred to as mosaic trisomy, and signs in these cases might be less severe. Edwards syndrome takes place in around 1 in 5,000 live births.

Children born with Edwards syndrome might have some or all of these characteristics: kidney malformations, structural heart defects at birth. Some physical malformations associated with Edwards syndrome include little head, upturned nose, narrow eyelid openings, webbing of the second and third toes, clubfoot, and so on vary from person to person.

Down’s Syndrome (Mongolism)

It is one of the consequences of autosomal non-disjunction in man, throughout which the 21st pair of chromosomes fails to segregate, leading to gamete with 24 chromosomes.

When this gamete, fertilizes a normal gamete the new individual will have 47 (2n + 1) chromosomes. Non-disjunction appears to take place in the ova and belongs to the age of the mother. The possibility of a teenage mother having a child with Down’s syndrome is one in thousands, forty years of age mother, one in hundred chances, and by forty-five the risk is three times higher. The affected individuals have a fat, broad face, squint eyes with the skin fold in the inner corner, and protruding tongue, mental retardation, and faulty development of the central nervous system.


Autosomal non-disjunction may happen in besides the 21st chromosome which generally leads to abortion, or death at a very early age.

Klinefelter’s Syndrome

These individuals have extra sex chromosomes e.g., 47 chromosomes (44 autosomes + XXY). They are phenotypically male however have often bigger breasts, a tendency to tallness, obesity, small testes with no sperms at ejaculation, and underdeveloped secondary sex characters. Males with 48 chromosomes (44 autosomes + XXXY), with 49 chromosomes (44 autosomes + XXXXY) and with 47 chromosomes (44 autosomes + XYY) are also observed.

Turner’s Syndrome

These affected individuals have one missing X chromosome with only 45 – chromosomes (44 autosomes + X). Individuals with this condition often do not make it through pregnancy and are aborted. Those who make it through have a female appearance with brief stature, webbed neck, without ovaries, and a total lack of germ cells.

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Jacobs syndrome

XYY syndrome is a hereditary condition in which a male has an additional Y chromosome. There are usually a couple of symptoms. These may consist of being taller than average, acne, and an increased risk of learning problems. The person is generally otherwise normal, including normal fertility.

The condition is normally not acquired from an individual’s parents but rather takes place as a result of a random event during sperm development. Diagnosis is by chromosomal analysis, but most of those impacted are not diagnosed within their lifetime. There are 47 chromosomes, instead of the typical 46, giving a 47, XYY karyotype.

Treatment may consist of speech treatment or additional aid with schoolwork; however, results are normally good. The condition occurs in about 1 in 1,000 male births. Many individuals with the condition are uninformed that they have it.


FAQs on Errors in Mitosis and Meiosis

  1. Q: What happens if Mitosis fails to work properly?
    • A: Mistakes during mitosis can lead to the production of daughter cells with an abnormal number of chromosomes. This is a major cause of numerical alterations in chromosome number observed in cancer.
  2. Q: How do errors in mitosis contribute to cancer?
    • A: Errors in mitosis can result in unrestrained cell division, leading to the formation of tumors. Cancer cells divide in an unregulated fashion, forming unwanted clones that can grow indefinitely and, in severe cases, metastasize to other parts of the body.
  3. Q: What is the significance of cell checkpoints in the cell cycle?
    • A: Cell checkpoints regulate the cell cycle, ensuring that cell reproduction occurs in a controlled and balanced manner. When these checkpoints break down, cells may start growing and dividing uncontrollably, contributing to conditions like cancer.
  4. Q: What are the consequences of errors in meiosis?
    • A: Errors in meiosis, such as chromosome non-disjunction, can result in abnormalities, including an abnormal number of chromosomes. Conditions like Patau syndrome, Edwards syndrome, Down’s syndrome, and others are associated with meiotic errors.
  5. Q: How does chromosome non-disjunction occur in meiosis?
    • A: Chromosome non-disjunction in meiosis happens when chromosomes fail to segregate during anaphase and telophase, leading to an unequal distribution of chromosomes among daughter nuclei. This can cause an increase or decrease in the number of chromosomes.
  6. Q: What is Patau syndrome, and how does it result from meiotic errors?
    • A: Patau syndrome is caused by a chromosomal abnormality involving extra genetic material from chromosome 13. This can occur due to trisomy 13 (full extra copy) or mosaic Patau syndrome. Non-disjunction during meiosis contributes to the occurrence of Patau syndrome.
  7. Q: How does Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18) affect individuals, and what causes it?
    • A: Edwards syndrome is a genetic disorder caused by a third copy of chromosome 18. It leads to various physical and intellectual disabilities, including heart defects, small size, and clenched fists. It is often caused by issues during the formation of reproductive cells or early development.
  8. Q: What are some characteristics of Down’s syndrome, and how does it result from meiotic errors?
    • A: Down’s syndrome, or trisomy 21, results from autosomal non-disjunction during meiosis. Individuals with Down’s syndrome exhibit characteristics such as a broad face, squint eyes, protruding tongue, and mental retardation due to the presence of an extra copy of chromosome 21.
  9. Q: What is Klinefelter’s syndrome, and how does it relate to chromosomal abnormalities?
    • A: Klinefelter’s syndrome involves individuals with an extra sex chromosome (XXY). While they are phenotypically male, they may have larger breasts, tallness, obesity, and small testes. Other variations include 48 chromosomes (XXXY), 49 chromosomes (XXY), and 47 chromosomes (XYY).
  10. Q: How does Turner’s syndrome differ, and what chromosomal abnormality is associated with it?
    • A: Turner’s syndrome results from the absence of one X chromosome, leading to individuals with only 45 chromosomes (X). Characteristics include short stature, webbed neck, absence of ovaries, and a total lack of germ cells.
  11. Q: What is XYY syndrome, and what are its typical characteristics?
    • A: XYY syndrome involves an extra Y chromosome in males, resulting in a karyotype of 47, XYY. Typical characteristics may include being taller than average, acne, and an increased risk of learning problems. The condition is usually not inherited but occurs as a random event during sperm development.
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Conclusion: Navigating the Genetic Landscape of Mitosis and Meiosis Errors

In unraveling the intricacies of mitosis and meiosis, this exploration illuminates the critical roles these processes play in maintaining the delicate balance of cellular life.

Mitosis, a choreographed dance of DNA distribution, stands as a remarkably accurate system. However, when missteps occur in this complex symphony, the consequences reverberate not only within individual cells but throughout the entire organism.

Errors in mitosis, often the culprit behind numerical alterations in chromosome numbers, emerge as a major contributor to the genesis of cancer.

On the meiotic stage, the narrative unfolds a tale of ordered phenomena—each step meticulously designed to ensure the reduction of chromosome numbers and the generation of diverse genetic combinations. Yet, even in this seemingly flawless process, errors can arise, leading to profound genetic disorders. Patau syndrome, Edwards syndrome, and Down’s syndrome, among others, paint a portrait of the varied challenges that can stem from meiotic abnormalities.

Each genetic disorder described—Klinefelter’s, Turner’s, and XYY syndromes—represents a unique manifestation of the intricate interplay between genetics and development. These disorders not only underscore the fragility of the genetic landscape but also emphasize the resilience of individuals facing such challenges.

In conclusion, this exploration takes us on a journey through the microscopic realms of mitosis and meiosis, unveiling the potential pitfalls that lie within. It serves as a poignant reminder of the precision required for the perpetuation of life and the profound impact that minute errors can have on the intricate genetic tapestry. Understanding these processes not only deepens our appreciation for the complexity of life but also fuels the ongoing pursuit of unraveling the mysteries encoded in our very DNA.