Meiosis is a procedure of cell division of the reproductive cells of both animals and plants in which the diploid number of chromosomes is decreased to haploid.

Meiosis is also termed as reduction division (RD) as the number of chromosomes is decreased to half. It occurs only in the reproductive cells during the formation of gametes. Meiosis comprises of two complete divisions. Since an outcome of this diploid cell generates four haploid cells. The two divisions of meiosis are meiosis I or heterotypic division and meiosis II or homotypic division. The initial division is meiotic or reductional in which the number of chromosomes is decreased to half and the second division is mitotic or equational.

In each sexually reproducing organism the chromosome number stays constant generation after generation. During sexual reproduction the two gametes female and male, each containing single set of chromosomes (n) fuse to form a zygote.

The zygote therefore comprises twice as many chromosome as a gamete (n + n = 2n). In these two sets of chromosomes one set is derived from the male parent and the other set from the female parent. This is how diploids come to hold two similar sets of chromosomes termed as homologous chromosomes.

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