Mitosis is the process whereby cells divide to produce two identical daughter cells. During the mitosis phase of the cell cycle, chromosomal segregation (karyokinesis) and cell division (cytokinesis) occur. The stages of mitosis are prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase. The remainder of the cell cycle is called interphase.
Interphase is the longest phase of the cell cycle. During interphase the nucleus is distinct, surrounded by an obvious nuclear envelope; individual chromosomes are not visible as distinct structures.
During prophase, chromosomes condense, centrosomes move to opposite poles of the cell, the mitotic spindle assembles and the nuclear envelope and the nucleolus disappear.
During metaphase, chromosomes align, forming the metaphase plate, and the mitotic spindle is completed.
Anaphase begins abruptly as chromosomes separate and are drawn toward the opposite poles of the cell. The end of anaphase is marked by the segregation of an identical set of chromosomes at each pole.
During telophase the nuclear envelope and nucleolus reform, and the chromosomal DNA decondenses.
Cytokinesis, the division of the cytoplasm, completes mitosis and produces identical daughter cells.