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Anaphase vs. Telophase: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on March 6, 2024
Anaphase is the stage of mitosis where chromosomes separate towards opposite poles, while telophase is when two new nuclei form at each pole.

Key Differences

Anaphase and telophase are two consecutive stages of cell division in mitosis and meiosis. Anaphase is characterized by the separation and movement of duplicated chromosomes to opposite poles of the cell. This ensures that each new cell will receive an identical set of chromosomes. In contrast, during telophase, the cell finalizes division by reconstructing the nuclear envelopes around the separated chromosome sets, marking the end of nuclear division and setting the stage for cytokinesis, where the cell itself splits into two.
In anaphase, the centromeres that hold sister chromatids together split, allowing the now individual chromosomes to be pulled apart by the spindle fibers. This movement is facilitated by the shortening of the microtubules attached to chromosomes. On the other hand, telophase sees the de-condensation of chromosomes into less compact chromatin, making them less visible under a microscope. The spindle fibers also disassemble, and the cell begins to show clear signs of dividing into two daughter cells.
The primary focus of anaphase is on the physical separation of chromosomes, a critical step to ensure genetic material is evenly divided. Telophase, however, focuses on re-establishing the nucleus, indicating the cell is nearing the end of division. The formation of the nuclear envelope in telophase surrounds each set of chromosomes, effectively creating two separate nuclei in anticipation of the cell eventually splitting.
Anaphase ensures genetic diversity through the accurate separation of chromosomes, a process vital for growth, development, and repair in multicellular organisms. Telophase, conversely, sets the groundwork for cellular division to complete, ensuring that each new cell has the necessary components to function as an independent unit.
Anaphase deals with the separation of genetic material to ensure each daughter cell receives an identical set of chromosomes, telophase involves the physical reorganization of the cell to conclude mitosis. The processes of anaphase and telophase are both essential to the life cycle of cells, playing critical roles in the accurate and efficient division of cells.

Comparison Chart

Main Event

Separation of chromosomes
Formation of two new nuclei

Structural Changes

Chromosomes move to opposite poles
Nuclear envelope re-forms around chromosomes

Visibility of Chromosomes

Chromosomes are highly visible and separate
Chromosomes de-condense and become less visible

Cell Division Stage

Middle stage of mitosis/meiosis
Final stage of mitosis/meiosis before cytokinesis

Spindle Fibers

Active in moving chromosomes
Disassemble as nuclei form

Anaphase and Telophase Definitions


Anaphase involves the critical step of chromosome separation for cell division.
Anaphase's precise mechanisms prevent genetic errors during cell division.


Telophase is the cell division stage where nuclear membranes form around separated chromosomes.
Telophase was evident as we observed the reformation of nuclear envelopes under the microscope.


Anaphase is a mitotic phase where sister chromatids separate towards opposite cell poles.
During anaphase, the cell ensures each daughter cell will receive an identical set of chromosomes.


Telophase initiates the process of cytokinesis, finalizing cell division.
The cell's transition into telophase indicated it was on the verge of splitting into two.


Anaphase triggers the equal distribution of genetic material into two forming cells.
The microscope revealed the cell in anaphase, showcasing the separation of genetic material.


Telophase concludes mitosis by re-establishing nuclei in dividing cells.
In telophase, each new cell begins to independently function, marking the end of cell division.


Anaphase is marked by the splitting of centromeres and movement of chromosomes.
The experiment focused on observing how anaphase ensures genetic diversity.


Telophase ensures genetic material is enclosed in a new nucleus in each daughter cell.
The biology class studied telophase to understand how cells preserve genetic information during division.


Anaphase is a phase in cell division where chromosomes are pulled to opposite ends.
Studying anaphase helps scientists understand genetic inheritance and cellular functions.


Telophase is characterized by the de-condensation of chromosomes and disassembly of spindle fibers.
Observing telophase provides insights into how cells return to their interphase state.


The stage of mitosis and meiosis in which the chromosomes move to opposite ends of the nuclear spindle.


The final stage of mitosis or meiosis during which the chromosomes of daughter cells are grouped in new nuclei.


(cytology) The stage of mitosis and meiosis during which the chromosomes separate; the chromatid moving to opposite poles of the cell.


(biology) The final stage of mitosis or meiosis during which the daughter chromosomes move towards opposite ends of the nuclear spindle


The stage of meiosis or mitosis when chromosomes move toward opposite ends of the nuclear spindle.


The final stage of meiosis when the chromosomes move toward opposite ends of the nuclear spindle


The stage of meiosis or mitosis when chromosomes move toward opposite ends of the nuclear spindle


The final stage of mitosis


Is anaphase present in both mitosis and meiosis?

Yes, anaphase occurs in both mitosis and meiosis, with slight variations specific to each process.

What happens during telophase?

During telophase, nuclear envelopes reform around the separated chromosomes, and the cell prepares to divide into two.

Why is telophase important for cell division?

Telophase is important because it finalizes the division of the nucleus, setting the stage for the physical separation of the cell.

What is anaphase?

Anaphase is a stage in cell division where sister chromatids are pulled apart to opposite poles of the cell.

Can anaphase be observed under a microscope?

Yes, anaphase can be observed under a microscope as chromosomes move apart.

What are sister chromatids?

Sister chromatids are two identical copies of a single chromosome, linked together before separation in anaphase.

Does telophase occur in both mitosis and meiosis?

Yes, telophase occurs in both mitosis and meiosis, concluding the nuclear division in each case.

How do spindle fibers function in anaphase?

Spindle fibers pull the separated chromosomes toward opposite cell poles during anaphase.

What role does the nuclear envelope play in telophase?

In telophase, the nuclear envelope re-forms around each set of chromosomes, establishing two separate nuclei.

How are chromosomes moved during anaphase?

Chromosomes are moved to opposite poles of the cell by the shortening of microtubules attached to them during anaphase.

What marks the end of telophase?

The end of telophase is marked by the complete formation of two new nuclei and the beginning of cytokinesis.

What is the significance of anaphase in cell division?

Anaphase ensures that each daughter cell receives an identical set of chromosomes, crucial for genetic stability.

What happens to the cell after telophase?

After telophase, the cell undergoes cytokinesis, splitting into two daughter cells.

How does anaphase contribute to genetic variation?

Anaphase itself doesn't contribute to genetic variation; it ensures accurate chromosome separation, while genetic variation primarily arises during meiosis through processes like crossing over and independent assortment.

Is telophase the same in mitosis and meiosis?

Telophase is fundamentally similar in both processes but leads to different outcomes: two diploid cells in mitosis and up to four haploid cells in meiosis.

Why is the accurate separation of chromosomes in anaphase crucial?

Accurate separation is crucial to prevent genetic disorders that can result from the unequal distribution of chromosomes, ensuring each daughter cell receives a complete set of genetic information.

How long does anaphase last?

Anaphase is a relatively quick phase, lasting only a few minutes in most cell types.

What cellular structures are dismantled during telophase?

During telophase, spindle fibers and the mitotic spindle are dismantled as the cell prepares to divide.

At what point in cell division is telophase visible?

Telophase is visible towards the end of cell division, as the nucleus starts to re-form.

What are the main differences between anaphase and telophase?

The main differences lie in their functions: anaphase involves the separation of chromosomes, while telophase involves the reconstruction of the nuclear envelope around the separated chromosomes.
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
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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