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in a dividing cell, the arrangement of the chromosomes at the same distance from both poles. The equatorial plate is formed during the metaphase stage of cell division. At this stage it is difficult to distinguish separate chromosomes, but in aggregate they have the appearance of a plate. When, however, the cell is viewed from the poles, the chromosomes in the equatorial plane of the spindle appear in the form of a star. After the formation of the equatorial plate, the daughter chromosomes separate and migrate to opposite poles.