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Anaphase 1 vs. Anaphase 2: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 2, 2023
Anaphase 1 segregates homologous chromosomes during meiosis I, whereas Anaphase 2 separates sister chromatids during meiosis II, both ensuring genetic diversity.

Key Differences

Anaphase 1 is a crucial phase in meiosis I where homologous chromosomes are separated and pulled to opposite poles of the cell. The genetic material that was once linked through synapsis becomes independent entities, each chromosome journeying towards a different and separate future in nascent daughter cells. This separation of chromosomes is foundational for the genetic variation seen among offspring, enabling recombination and independent assortment to diversify genetic profiles.
Conversely, Anaphase 2 is instrumental in meiosis II, resembling more closely the processes witnessed in mitosis. This stage distinguishes itself by separating sister chromatids, which were originally identical, sending them to opposite ends of the cell. It's a process that necessitates the previous action of Anaphase 1; it is the further nuance of genetic material separation and allocation that eventually results in four non-identical daughter cells.
In Anaphase 1, chromosomes are moved in a manner that acknowledges their homologous pairing from earlier prophase 1, respecting the unique combination of paternal and maternal genetic information. A significant aspect of Anaphase 1 is that it underpins the ability to create new genetic combinations, a foundational aspect of sexual reproduction and genetic diversity among eukaryotic organisms. This stage ensures the uniqueness of each resultant cell in terms of its genetic makeup.
Anaphase 2, by contrast, deals with the separate entities created during Anaphase 1 and takes the separation a step further. By dividing the sister chromatids, which were copies made during the S phase of the cell cycle, Anaphase 2 finalizes the cell's journey towards producing gametes or spores, which are crucial for sexual reproduction and the survival of the species through generations.
While both stages are elements of the overarching meiotic process, Anaphase 1 and Anaphase 2 respectively play unique roles in the transmission and alteration of genetic material from parent to offspring. Anaphase 1 allows the first major step towards genetic variability among offspring, while Anaphase 2 ensures that the resultant cells are haploid and ready for the processes of fertilization and reproduction, continuing the cycle of life.

Comparison Chart

Chromosomal Activity

Separates homologous chromosomes.
Separates sister chromatids.

Genetic Implication

Ensures genetic variation through recombination.
Ensures haploid number in resultant cells.

Resultant Cells

Two cells, each with a varied set of chromosomes.
Four non-identical haploid cells.

Preceding Events

Occurs following synapsis and crossing over.
Occurs without preceding genetic recombination.

Subsequent Events

Followed by meiosis II without DNA replication.
Typically followed by the formation of gametes.

Anaphase 1 and Anaphase 2 Definitions

Anaphase 1

Stage in meiosis I where homologous chromosomes separate.
In Anaphase 1, chromosomes that underwent crossover are pulled to opposite poles.

Anaphase 2

It precedes the final cellular division in the meiotic process.
After Anaphase 2, cells progress to telophase 2, culminating meiosis.

Anaphase 1

The stage prior to the initiation of telophase 1.
Following the chromosomal separation in Anaphase 1, the cell transitions into telophase 1.

Anaphase 2

Phase in meiosis II focusing on separating sister chromatids.
Anaphase 2 is characterized by sister chromatids migrating to opposite cell poles.

Anaphase 1

Anaphase 1 ensures the segregation of paternal and maternal genetic material.
The cell employs spindle fibers during Anaphase 1 to segregate homologous chromosomes.

Anaphase 2

Anaphase 2 ensures the reduction of chromosome number by half.
The movement in Anaphase 2 is crucial for forming haploid daughter cells.

Anaphase 1

It plays a pivotal role in enabling genetic diversity.
Due to Anaphase 1, offspring inherit a unique combination of chromosomes.

Anaphase 2

Anaphase 2 separates previously identical genetic material.
In Anaphase 2, sister chromatids, once identical, are pulled to opposing ends of the cell.

Anaphase 1

Anaphase 1 directly follows the metaphase 1 stage in meiosis.
After metaphase 1, Anaphase 1 commences, moving chromosomes towards opposing poles.

Anaphase 2

It ensures each resultant cell gets a complete set of chromosomes.
Anaphase 2 plays a critical role in distributing chromatids to forming daughter cells.


Does DNA replication occur before Anaphase 2?

No, DNA replication does not occur before Anaphase 2.

Which phase in meiosis involves the separation of sister chromatids?

Anaphase 2 involves the separation of sister chromatids.

What is the result in terms of chromosome number after Anaphase 1?

After Anaphase 1, cells have a haploid number of chromosomes but each chromosome consists of two chromatids.

What stage of meiosis follows Anaphase 2?

Telophase 2 follows Anaphase 2 in meiosis.

What kind of chromosomes does Anaphase 1 deal with?

Anaphase 1 deals with homologous chromosomes, containing mixed paternal and maternal genes.

Are the daughter cells after Anaphase 2 haploid or diploid?

The daughter cells formed after Anaphase 2 are haploid.

What ensures the chromosomes move to opposite poles during Anaphase 1?

Spindle fibers pull the chromosomes towards opposite poles during Anaphase 1.

What is the primary function of Anaphase 1?

Anaphase 1 separates homologous chromosomes, ensuring genetic diversity among offspring.

How does Anaphase 1 contribute to genetic variation?

Anaphase 1 contributes by separating recombined homologous chromosomes, ensuring independent assortment.

How many daughter cells result from Anaphase 2?

Anaphase 2 ultimately contributes to the formation of four non-identical daughter cells.

Why is the separation of chromosomes in Anaphase 1 crucial?

It ensures the offspring have varied genetic material, contributing to genetic diversity.

Are the cells at the end of Anaphase 2 genetically unique?

Yes, they are unique due to earlier genetic recombination and independent assortment in meiosis I.

How many phases are there in meiosis before Anaphase 1?

There are three phases before Anaphase 1: Prophase 1, Metaphase 1, and Prometaphase 1.

Are the chromatids separated in Anaphase 2 genetically identical?

Yes, the sister chromatids separated during Anaphase 2 are genetically identical.

Does crossing over occur before Anaphase 1?

Yes, crossing over occurs during prophase 1, before Anaphase 1.

What follows Anaphase 2 in terms of cellular changes?

Telophase 2 follows, involving further cell elongation and preparation for cytokinesis.

What is the chromosomal composition in cells after Anaphase 1?

Cells have a haploid chromosome number but each chromosome consists of two sister chromatids.

How do the chromosome numbers compare between the original cell and those after Anaphase 2?

The original cell is diploid, while the cells after Anaphase 2 are haploid.

What is the key chromosomal activity occurring in Anaphase 1?

Homologous chromosomes, each consisting of two chromatids, are separated in Anaphase 1.

Why is Anaphase 2 essential for sexual reproduction?

Anaphase 2 ensures the generation of haploid gametes, which are vital for sexual reproduction.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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