Cell Cycle Duration
Date: December 2004
Which stage of the cell cycle lasts longer?
The G1 phase of interphase generally lasts the longest because that is the
stage that the cell spends most of its "life". This is where cell growth and
metabolism occurs; the cell is doing whatever job it does for the organism.
It sits in G1 until there is some kind of signal telling it it must divide
again. If this is the kind of cell that doesn't divide again once it is made,
we call that phase G0 (zero) and that is like sitting in G1 until the cell
I don't know for sure, but choosing between prophase, metaphase, anaphase and
telophase, I think it takes longer for the chromosomes to condense during
prophase than the other phases. If you consider interphase a phase of the
cell cycle (during which DNA or chromosome synthesis ocurrs), it would be
Ron Baker, Ph.D.
Interphase is by far the longest stage of the cell cycle. You can think
of interphase as being the time when a cell is going about its usual
business. Mitosis, then, is a brief pause in that business to take care
of cell division.
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Update: June 2012