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Modeling Meiosis

Meiosis is a specialized type of cell division which reduces the chromosome number by half. This process occurs in
all sexually reproducing eukaryotes. In meiosis, DNA replication is followed by two rounds of cell division to
produce four daughter cells with half the number of chromosomes as the original parent cell. The two meiotic
divisions are known as meiosis I and meiosis II. Before meiosis begins, during S phase of the cell cycle, the DNA of
each chromosome is replicated so that it consists of two identical sister chromatids attached at a centromere. In
meiosis I, homologous chromosomes pair with each other and can exchange genetic material in a process
called chromosomal crossover . The homologous chromosomes are then pulled apart into two new separate
daughter cells, each containing half the number of chromosomes as the parent cell. At the end of meiosis I, sister
chromatids remain attached and may differ from one another if crossing-over occurred. In meiosis II, the two cells
produced during meiosis I divide again. During this division, sister chromatids detach from one another and are
separated into four total daughter cells.

Contents of bag: Blue pipe cleaners= maternal chromosomes, Red pipe cleaners=
paternal chromosomes, & White beads with holes= kinetochores
Procedure:
1. Dump contents of bag onto table. You should have 2 longer red pipe cleaners,
2 longer blue pipe cleaners, 2 shorter red pipe cleaners, and 2 shorter blue
pipe cleaners as well as 8 white beads.
2. Slip a white bead onto each pipe cleaner and slide it up near the middle.
3. Based on the total number of pipe cleaners and their relative sizes; what is
the 2n or diploid number of chromosomes for this organism? ________ (Hint!
Chromatids are replicated)
4. Sort the pipe cleaners by size not color. This most closely resembles which
phase of meiosis? _____________________________
5. At this stage, portions of non-sister chromatids break off and exchange (not
modeled in simulation). What do we call this process? ____________________
_____________________
6. Metaphase I aligns the homologous pairs independently at the metaphase
plate. Your model organism has two homologous pairs; one big and one small.
Line them up vertically between you and your partner placing the smaller
chromosomes above the bigger ones. For each pair, the blues should be next
to each other and reds next to each other but the small pair colors should
align independently of the large pair colors.
7. Separate the _______________________ pairs, sending them to opposite poles as
you model _____________________ of meiosis.
8. Telophase I reforms the nucleus and interkinesis splits the cytoplasm. At this
point each cell is ___________________ despite containing duplicated
chromosomes and each new cell has n=___ number of chromosomes.
9. Meiosis II can now be modeled in each new cell by you and your partner by
splitting apart the sister chromatids to form a total of ____ daughter cells that
are each _____________________.

10.If you were going to study cells undergoing meiosis, where would you obtain
your sample of cells from?
_____________________________________________________________________.
11.Meiosis shuffles the genes through ________________ _______________ during
prophase I and because of _______________________ _____________________
during anaphase I.