Mitosis Lab

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade November 2001

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Recently my partner and I partook in a lab where we learned about the mitosis of cells. The mitosis of allium, the onion root tip, to be more exact. The purpose of this lab was to observe dividing cells and to be able to recognize different stages of mitosis. We would also determine the relative lengths of each stage of mitosis for the allium. Our hypothesis was that the telophase stage would last the longest in the process of mitosis for the allium. The materials we used were a light microscope, slides of allium, pencil, and paper. We began by plugging in the microscope. We then set the slide onto the stage, and adjusted the stage clips as needed. We started on low power, of course, and worked our way to medium. We felt that it was difficult to locate the cells on low power, but we did it and moved onto medium.

Then to high, but on high power we found nothing at all. After several minutes of close examination and repeated attempts, we realized that the diaphragm was set to let the least amount of light possible through the slide. After correcting this, things went more smoothly. We found good examples of cells in each stage of the 4 stages mitosis (which would be prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase, respectively in that order) and drew sketches of them for data. We also counted 50 different cells that were not in interphase, and took tallies of which stage each cell was in. When we finished, we had 21 cells in prophase, 17 cells in metaphase, 4 cells in anaphase, and 8 cells in telophase. The next day, we took down the class data. The class data came from observations of 793 cells. Then we made graphs of...