Difference Between Cytokinesis and Mitosis

mitosisCytokinesis vs Mitosis

Both Mitosis and Cytokinesis are a part of cell division. Basically, Mitosis is a process by which the duplicated genome in a cell is separated into halves that are identical in nature. Cytokinesis is the process where the cytoplasm of the cell divides to form two ‘daughter’ cells. There are other subtle differences between the two. Let us explore these in detail.

The process of Mitosis occurs in three phases-namely Interphase, Karyokinesis and Cytokinesis. Karyokinesis occurs in 4 different phases. Once Karyokinesis is completed, Cytokinesis takes place.

Cytokinesis occurs through two simple processes, one in animals and other eukaryotic cells and one in plant cells. During Cytokinesis, the cytoplasm of a cell is divided into two. The result is the formation of two ‘daughter cells’, each having a nucleus. Apart from the nuclei, Cytokinesis also results in the passing of cellular organelles equally between the two daughter cells. Since some of the molecules bind to the chromosomes, each daughter cell receives an equal share of the cytoplasmic components.

In some instances, however, the cells may go on dividing the nucleus, without reaching the stage of Cytokinesis. In such a case, it leads to the formation of a multinucleate cell such as in those of striated muscles.

The important thing to note is that even after the completion of Mitosis, there are two nuclei which are still enclosed in the same cell. Only under Cytokinesis does this cell physically divide into two.

The reasons behind Mitosis can be tracked quite easily. It is based on the need for a cell to grow and regenerate. Mitosis lies behind the propagation and continuation of all living forms. However, the process is slightly different between animals and plants. Cytokinesis on the other hand occurs so that the chromosome number is maintained between the generations.

Since Mitosis is a part that divides the nucleus of a cell, Cytokinesis without Mitosis would create two cells, one with a nucleus and the other without one.

Since the two processes may often take place in conjunction with each other, they may be known collectively as the mitotic phase. However, there are a number of cells where the Mitosis and Cytokinesis processes occur differently. In such cases, it may result in the formation of single cells that have multiple nuclei. This is commonly found among moulds and fungi. In animals, it may occur in certain stages of the development of the fruit fly.
It is important to note that this is one of the most important parts in the development of a cell. Any errors in Mitosis may either kill a cell or lead to cancer.

Summary
1. Mitosis refers to the division of a cell’s nucleus into two. Cytokinesis refers to the further division of the cytoplasm of the cell, forming two daughter cells.
2. Cytokinesis takes place after Mitosis
3. Mitosis occurs in three phases, one of which is Cytokinesis.
4. Mitosis results in the growth and development of new cells, Cytokinesis ensures that the chromosome numbers are maintained in cells.

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