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Anaphase I vs. Anaphase II — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on November 3, 2023
In Anaphase I, homologous chromosomes separate, while in Anaphase II, sister chromatids separate.
Anaphase I vs. Anaphase II — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Anaphase I and Anaphase II


Key Differences

Anaphase I is a phase in meiosis where homologous chromosomes are pulled to opposite ends of the cell. In contrast, Anaphase II sees the separation of sister chromatids.
During Anaphase I, the paired chromosomes, which have recombined, are segregated. This is different from Anaphase II, where the individual chromosomes have their chromatids split.
Anaphase I reduces the chromosome number by half as the cell divides into two. Anaphase II, however, doesn't reduce the chromosome number but ensures each new cell gets a complete set of chromatids.
Genetic diversity is introduced during Anaphase I due to recombination of chromosomes. Anaphase II, on the other hand, focuses more on ensuring accurate segregation of the genetic material.

Comparison Chart

Chromosomes involved

Homologous chromosomes
Sister chromatids

Role in genetic diversity

Introduces diversity
Doesn't introduce diversity

Outcome of division

Two cells with halved chromosomes
Four cells with unaltered chromosome number

Number of divisions

First meiotic division
Second meiotic division

Genetic recombination

Occurs before this stage
Doesn't occur

Compare with Definitions

Anaphase I

Anaphase I is the stage in meiosis where homologous chromosomes separate.
During Anaphase I, chromosomes migrate to opposite poles.

Anaphase II

Anaphase II occurs during the second meiotic division, post-Anaphase I events.
After the completion of Anaphase I, cells proceed to Anaphase II.

Anaphase I

Anaphase I reduces the chromosome count by half in the resulting cells.
If a cell starts with 46 chromosomes, Anaphase I will produce cells with 23.

Anaphase II

Anaphase II is a stage that mirrors mitosis in terms of chromatid separation.
While Anaphase I is unique to meiosis, Anaphase II resembles the anaphase of mitosis.

Anaphase I

Anaphase I follows genetic recombination and precedes cytokinesis in meiosis I.
After crossing over, Anaphase I ensures chromosomes are segregated.

Anaphase II

Anaphase II is the phase in meiosis II where sister chromatids separate.
In Anaphase II, the chromatids are pulled apart to create distinct chromosomes.

Anaphase I

Anaphase I ensures that each new cell receives one chromosome from each homologous pair.
This segregation during Anaphase I ensures genetic material is evenly distributed.

Anaphase II

Anaphase II ensures each resultant cell has a full set of chromosomes.
Anaphase II doesn't reduce the chromosome number but redistributes it.

Common Curiosities

Does Anaphase I reduce the chromosome number?

Yes, Anaphase I reduces the chromosome number by half.

In which process does Anaphase II occur?

Anaphase II occurs in meiosis II.

What does Anaphase I separate?

Anaphase I separates homologous chromosomes.

Is there genetic recombination in Anaphase II?

No, genetic recombination doesn't occur in Anaphase II.

How many cells result from a cell undergoing Anaphase I?

Two cells result post Anaphase I.

Which anaphase promotes genetic diversity, Anaphase I or Anaphase II?

Anaphase I promotes genetic diversity.

Do sister chromatids separate during Anaphase I?

No, they separate during Anaphase II.

Is Anaphase II similar to the anaphase in mitosis?

Yes, Anaphase II resembles the anaphase of mitosis in terms of chromatid separation.

What is the main outcome of Anaphase I in terms of chromosome content?

The main outcome is two cells, each with half the original chromosome number.

How many cells result post Anaphase II?

Four cells result post Anaphase II.

Which comes first, Anaphase I or Anaphase II?

Anaphase I comes before Anaphase II.

Do cells immediately enter Anaphase II after Anaphase I?

Not immediately. Cells undergo Telophase I and cytokinesis before entering meiosis II.

Is Anaphase II responsible for halving the chromosome number?

No, Anaphase I is responsible for that.

Which anaphase ensures even distribution of genetic material, Anaphase I or Anaphase II?

Both do, but in different ways: Anaphase I distributes homologous chromosomes, while Anaphase II distributes sister chromatids.

Is Anaphase II longer in duration than Anaphase I?

The duration can vary based on organism and cell type, but generally, the stages are relatively short and there isn't a consistent answer as to which is longer.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Tayyaba Rehman
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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