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Interpret the Stages of the Cell Cycle

In this worksheet, students will interpret the stages of the cell cycle and mitosis.

Worksheet Overview

QUESTION 1 of 10

Did you know that humans are made of trillions of cells?!  All living things are made from cells. Organisms are able to grow because cells can multiply.  Organisms always need new cells. Cells get damaged through wear and tear or maybe through disease. These cells need to be replaced. They have to be replaced with cells that contain the exact same genetic information. The process of producing new cells is called the cell cycle and can be divided into two processes- growth and cell division or mitosis which is the scientific name.

Image of chromosomes

Did you know that humans have around 21,000 genes? These genes control everything about us and they are found in the nucleus of our cells. In our body cells, the nucleus holds 46 chromosomes (or 23 pairs). We call these diploid cells. We inherit 23 chromosomes from our father and 23 chromosomes from our mother (46 in total). That means there are 23 chromosomes in egg cells and 23 chromosomes in sperm cells. These are called haploid cells. It is the gametes or sex cells (egg/sperm cells) that only have half the full set of chromosomes, all other cells in the body have the full set of chromosomes. During fertilisation the gametes nuclei combine forming a diploid cell. Soon after fertilisation, a zygote is formed and goes through the cell cycle lots of times to form an embryo. Read on to find out more about the cell cycle.

The Cell Cycle

Cell Growth -The first phase of the cell cycle is called cell growth. Here the cell accumulates nutrients and grows larger. The organelles of the cell are copied, like ribosomes and mitochondria. Then the chromosomes are copied and the nucleus too.

Mitosis - Once cell growth has occurred, the cell can divide into two. This is called mitosis. During mitosis, the chromosomes are lined up in the centre of the cell and pulled to opposite ends of the cell. Two new nuclei will form and then the cell splits into two forming daughter cells. The chromosomes in the daughter cells are genetically identical to the chromosomes in the parent cell, they are clones. You can see a picture of the process of mitosis below:

Image of cell undergoing mitosis

Mitosis is not something that happens only in human cells. Most multicellular organisms will use mitosis for growth and repair. Some plants reproduce asexually, meaning there is only one parent cell and no need for gametes or fertilisation. The cells will undergo mitosis to grow and will be clones of the parent cell. Some examples are potato and strawberry plants.

It is because of the cell cycle that organisms are able to grow.

In the following activity, you will be interpreting the key features of the cell cycle.

David and Michael are identical twins. 

Image of twin brothers

Identical twins are formed when a zygote divides into two cells which then separate. Name the type of cell division that occurs when the zygote divides into two cells. Type one answer below.

Human body cells have a cell cycle which is divided into two processes. The table below shows some observations of cells during each process. The processes have been labeled as process X and Y.

Observation  Process X Process Y
 Number of cells 1 2
 Number of chromosomes  46 chromosomes doubled to make 92 chromosomes  46 chromosomes in each cell
Number of cell organelles 200 100

Look at the table and identify process X and Y.

X - Cell Growth

Y- Mitosis

X - Cell Division

Y - Cell Growth

Image of mice

A cell taken from the eye of a mouse has 40 chromosomes. How many chromosomes will there be in a cell taken from a leg from the same mouse? Select one answer below.

20

40

46

23

The diagram below shows the final stage of the cell cycle.

 Image of cell divisioin

What is happening to the cell? Select two answers below.

 

Chromosomes divide into two

Cell cytoplasm divides into two

Cell membrane divides into two

Organelles replicate

The cell in the picture below is going through mitosis. There are eight chromosomes lined up in the centre of the cell. How many chromosomes were there originally in this parent cell?

Image of chromosomes lining up before cell division

Type one answer below.

image of a frog

A cell taken from a frog's leg has 1200 mitochondria. It usually has around 600 mitochondria. Why might the number have doubled?

The cell was growing so replicating all organelles

The cell was going through mitosis

The cell was dividing

Image of a strawberry plant and runner

Many plants and bacteria reproduce through asexual reproduction. Asexual reproduction doesn't involve gametes (sex cells) or fertilisation. The picture above shows a strawberry plant which reproduces asexually. The parent plant grows side shoots. New plants grow on the side shoots which are identical to the parent plant. Complete the sentences below to explain why.

The cell was growing so replicating all organelles

The cell was going through mitosis

The cell was dividing

The picture below shows a cell going through the cell cycle.

Image of stages of cell division

How, if at all, is the first cell in the picture similar to the last cells? 

They are genetically identical

They are not genetically identical

The chromosomes are half of the original number of the parent cell

The cell cycle is split into two processes- cell growth and cell division. Select the statements that best describe each process. Select one answer in each row.

Match the key terms to their definitions below.

Column A

Column B

Gamete
A type of cell division
Clone
Sex cells-egg and sperm cells
Mitosis
Genetically identical cells or organisms
Parent cell
The original cell that divides by mitosis to form ...
  • Question 1

David and Michael are identical twins. 

Image of twin brothers

Identical twins are formed when a zygote divides into two cells which then separate. Name the type of cell division that occurs when the zygote divides into two cells. Type one answer below.

CORRECT ANSWER
mitosis
EDDIE SAYS
After fertilisation, cell division happens at a rapid rate. Normally a zygote will go through the cell cycle and develop into an embryo. In the case of identical twins, the zygote splits into two by mitosis and develops into two individual embryos. The embryos will continue to go through the cell cycle and grow into unborn twin babies.
  • Question 2

Human body cells have a cell cycle which is divided into two processes. The table below shows some observations of cells during each process. The processes have been labeled as process X and Y.

Observation  Process X Process Y
 Number of cells 1 2
 Number of chromosomes  46 chromosomes doubled to make 92 chromosomes  46 chromosomes in each cell
Number of cell organelles 200 100

Look at the table and identify process X and Y.

CORRECT ANSWER
X - Cell Growth
Y- Mitosis
EDDIE SAYS
The biggest clue that process X is cell growth is the number of chromosomes and organelles. During cell growth, the number of chromosomes and organelles will always double. This is because the chromosomes and organelles will replicate and eventually separate out into new daughter cells. Process Y is mitosis because the number of daughter cells formed is always two.
  • Question 3

Image of mice

A cell taken from the eye of a mouse has 40 chromosomes. How many chromosomes will there be in a cell taken from a leg from the same mouse? Select one answer below.

CORRECT ANSWER
40
EDDIE SAYS
In the exam try not to get thrown off if asked about other organisms and their chromosome numbers, just apply what you already know to the situation. Parent cells and daughter cells will have identical numbers of chromosomes after mitosis. Don't worry if you got caught out, that's why we're practising.
  • Question 4

The diagram below shows the final stage of the cell cycle.

 Image of cell divisioin

What is happening to the cell? Select two answers below.

 

CORRECT ANSWER
Cell cytoplasm divides into two
Cell membrane divides into two
EDDIE SAYS
The picture above shows the final stage of mitosis about to occur, the production of two daughter cells.
  • Question 5

The cell in the picture below is going through mitosis. There are eight chromosomes lined up in the centre of the cell. How many chromosomes were there originally in this parent cell?

Image of chromosomes lining up before cell division

Type one answer below.

CORRECT ANSWER
4
Four
EDDIE SAYS
Before a cell can divide the chromosomes have to replicate. The picture above shows a parent cell with double the number of chromosomes lined up across the centre of the cell. These chromosomes are then pulled to either end of the cell and will divide.
  • Question 6

image of a frog

A cell taken from a frog's leg has 1200 mitochondria. It usually has around 600 mitochondria. Why might the number have doubled?

CORRECT ANSWER
The cell was growing so replicating all organelles
EDDIE SAYS
Before cell division can occur the cell has to grow. During cell growth, all the cells organelles are replicated before they are divided into separate cells following mitosis.
  • Question 7

Image of a strawberry plant and runner

Many plants and bacteria reproduce through asexual reproduction. Asexual reproduction doesn't involve gametes (sex cells) or fertilisation. The picture above shows a strawberry plant which reproduces asexually. The parent plant grows side shoots. New plants grow on the side shoots which are identical to the parent plant. Complete the sentences below to explain why.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Most organisms will use mitosis to grow like the strawberry plant above. Because the genes are identical, the same type of plant will grow. The strawberries might look slightly different from one another but that could be to do with other factors like not getting enough water or nutrients. This is some very tricky subject matter, be patient with yourself with practise you memorise these key terms!
  • Question 8

The picture below shows a cell going through the cell cycle.

Image of stages of cell division

How, if at all, is the first cell in the picture similar to the last cells? 

CORRECT ANSWER
They are genetically identical
EDDIE SAYS
The first picture is of the parent cell that will go through the cell cycle. After cell growth and mitosis daughter cells are formed that are clones of the parent cell. Remember a clone is a cell with the same genetic information as another cell. This is tricky subject matter, but stick with it!
  • Question 9

The cell cycle is split into two processes- cell growth and cell division. Select the statements that best describe each process. Select one answer in each row.

CORRECT ANSWER
EDDIE SAYS
Don't forget cell growth and cell division are both part of the cell cycle they just do different jobs. Both are essential for growth and repair. The table above is a great way to remind yourself of the key features of the cell cycle.
  • Question 10

Match the key terms to their definitions below.

CORRECT ANSWER

Column A

Column B

Gamete
Sex cells-egg and sperm cells
Clone
Genetically identical cells or or...
Mitosis
A type of cell division
Parent cell
The original cell that divides by...
EDDIE SAYS
Key terms can throw you off in an exam question so it's important to remind yourself of the relevant keywords for this topic. Well done! That's another activity completed.
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