2. Prophase I
The next step in meiosis is prophase I. The two separate and identical strands of DNA now come together and form x-shaped structures. The shapes of these structures are clearly visible under a reasonably powerful microscope. Each of the chromosomes is made of two chromatids, which is the name given to the thread-like strands that are divided longitudinally. The two chromosomes then match up accordingly and exchange parts of DNA. This latter process is known as crossing over and/or recombination. The membrane around the nucleus will then dissolve, allowing for the release of the two chromosomes, and the meiotic spindle is extended across the cell.