- The stage of mitosis or meiosis in which the chromosomes become aligned on the equatorial plate of the cell separating the centromeres. In mitosis and in the second meiotic division, the centromeres of each chromosome divide and the two daughter centromeres are directed toward opposite poles of the cell; in the first division of meiosis, the centromeres do not divide but the centromeres of each pair of homologous chromosomes become directed toward opposite poles. [meta- + G. phasis, an appearance]
* * *meta·phase 'met-ə-.fāz n the stage of mitosis and meiosis in which the chromosomes become arranged in the equatorial plane of the spindle
* * *n.the second stage of mitosis and of each division of meiosis, in which the chromosomes line up at the centre of the spindle, with their centromeres attached to the spindle fibres.
* * *meta·phase (metґə-fāz″) [meta- + phase] the stage of cell division following prometaphase, during which the asters move further apart and the chromosomes move along the spindle microtubules to the center of the cell and line up to form the equatorial or metaphase plate. In meiosis I, the kinetochores of homologous chromosome pairs become directed at opposite poles.
Medical dictionary. 2011.