Metaphase is the 3rd Phase in the process of Mitosis and Meiosis, proceeding Interphase and Prophase but preceding Anaphase and Telophase. It makes up the 'M' in PMAT (an acronym of the 4 stages of cell division.)
In Metaphase the Mitotic spindles made from bundles of microtubules attach to the centromere by binding to the protein known as the kinetochore. The chromosomes line up along the centre line of the nucleus known as the metaphase plate. At this time the chromosomes are in the middle of the cell equidistant from the poles of the nucleus. Being aligned on the metaphase plate the chromosomes are easiest to count and examine due to reaching their maximum contraction. With all the chromosomes aligned on the Metaphase plate, Anaphase can subsequently occur.
- ↑ Essential Genetics. A Genomics Perspective, Hartl and Jones