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The leptotene stage, also known as the leptonema, is the first of five substages of prophase I in meiosis. The term leptonema derives from Greek words meaning "thin threads". A cell destined to become a gamete enters the leptotene stage after its chromosomes are duplicated during interphase. During the leptotene stage those duplicated chromosomes—each consisting of two sister chromatids—condense from diffuse chromatin into long, thin strands that are more visible within the cell nucleus. The next stage of prophase I in meiosis is the zygotene stage.
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