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Difference Between Mitosis and Binary Fission

Mitosis vs Binary Fission

The concept of cellular division is very tricky for some because there are many little things happening within the cell which are all of great importance to the entire cycle. However, different types of cell divisions like mitosis and binary fission have unique characteristics. They are easily confused with each other because both of them are asexual forms of reproduction as opposed to meiosis which is sexual in nature.

Mitosis is a type of cell division that takes place among non-sex cells (somatic cells). This type of cell replication is designed to increase the number of cells during the blastogenesis and embryogenesis of both animals and plants. The most distinct characteristic of the mitotic process is the production of two product cells (daughters) which are similar to each other as well as to their original cell (mother) in both quantitative and qualitative aspects.

Mitosis has four stages or phases namely: G1, S, G2 and the final mitotic phase which completes the cycle. The first to third stages comprise the so-called interphase. This phase, although there is no chromosomal division happening, is characterized by rapid cellular metabolic activity involving both the nucleus and cytoplasmic organs thus making it the longest collective stage. G1 is marked with RNA transcription and protein synthesis. S phase is evidenced by DNA synthesis. The G2 phase is primarily the acquisition of more cell energy and a further increase in cell size specifically the nucleolus.

Otherwise known as prokaryotic fission, binary fission is said to be the most familiar and simplest form of asexual reproduction. It is simple because the entire process finishes faster than the mitotic process. Unlike in mitosis, there’s no more involvement of the nuclear envelope and centromeres (where the mitotic spindles are connected) in biologic fission.

Binary fission has three types: simple, transverse, and longitudinal binary fission. Simple binary fission happens in amoebas wherein the division goes by any plane. Transverse binary fission happens among paramecium and planaria wherein the cytoplasmic division plane matches the specimen’s transverse axis. Longitudinal binary fission occurs in the euglena when the plane matches the longitudinal alignment.


1.Binary fission occurs among prokaryotes (cells that do not contain a nucleus).
2.Mitosis occurs among eukaryotes (cells that have a nucleus).
3.Binary fission does not include spindle formation (mitotic apparatus) and sister chromatids in its process making it a faster means of cellular division than mitosis.
4.Binary fission does not have the four distinct cellular phases (from G1 down to the final mitotic phase) that are seen in mitosis.

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  1. The information regarding mitosis is incorrect and should be amended.

    “Mitosis has four stages or phases namely: G1, S, G2 and the final mitotic phase which completes the cycle.”

    G1, S, and G2 are phases of interphase not mitosis. Cells must complete interphase in order to enter mitosis–they are two distinctly different processes. Mitosis is typically divided into 6 stages: the five stages of mitosis (prophase, prometaphase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase), and cytokinesis–the division of cytoplasm.

  2. Using amoebas as an example of binary fission (in the last paragraph before the summary) is incorrect. Amoebas are, like all protozoa, eukaryotes and thus reproduce by mitosis and not by binary fission.

  3. Mitosis takes place in among sex cells (germ cells) as well. e.g. spermatogonia to primary spermatocytes. It’s misleading to characterize mitosis as “a type of cell division that takes place among non-sex cells (somatic cells).”

  4. Flaws in this article. If you are saying that binary fission occurs only in prokaryotes then you cannot say that it occurs in planaria,
    euglena, paramecium and amoeba. These are all eukaryotes (have a true nucleus)

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