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A type of nuclear division that gives rise to four reproductive cells (gametes) each with half the chromosome number of the parent cell. Two consecutive divisions occur. In the first, homologous chromosomes become paired and may exchange genetic material (see crossing over) before moving away from each other into separate daughter nuclei. This is the actual reduction division because each of the two nuclei so formed contains only half of the original chromosomes. The daughter nuclei then divide by mitosis and four haploid cells are produced. See also prophase; metaphase; anaphase; telophase.

The stages of meiosis in a cell containing two pairs of homologous chromosomes

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