The first stage in the first meiotic division of meiosis. The individual chromosomes of the cell become clearly visible within the nucleus with a light microscope as they condense from long, thin, wispy structures to thick structures, and they appear as a tangled jumble of paired, identical chromatids. Prophase ends with the disappearance of the nuclear membrane. This is identical to the prophase stage of mitosis.

(09 Oct 1997)

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