MICHAEL ABBEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MICHAEL ABBEY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Early prophase of mitosis. Light micrograph of a whitefish cell (Coregonus sp.) undergoing cell division (mitosis). The cell is in the early prophase (first) stage of mitosis. Individual chromosomes can be seen within the cell as black thread-like structures (centre). During prophase, the chromosomes become progressively shorter and fatter, and a tubular structure known as the spindle forms across the cell (not visible here). The spindle will later help each chromosome to split and divide, forming two 'daughter' nuclei at either end of the cell. For a sequence showing mitosis, see images P673/069-081.
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