Difference Between Telophase and Cytokinesis

Telophase vs Cytokinesis

All the cells arise from an existing cell through the process called cell division. Cell division takes place according to the sequence of events known as cell division cycle or cell cycle. Duration of cell cycle may vary from 2 to 3 hours in a single- celled organism to around 24 hours in a human cell. During this period, cell undergoes many changes. According to the sequence of events, cell cycle can be divided into several phases; G1, S, G2 and Cell division. Cell division can be further divided into two phases; nuclear division and cytokinesis. Nuclear division of a cell includes five phases namely; interphase, prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase. According to the cell cycle, telophase is followed by cytokinesis. But in certain cases cytokinesis may also occur before telophase.


Telophase is the last phase of the nuclear division, and it begins when the two groups of chromosomes have reached the cell poles. It is the reverse of prophase. At the beginning of telophase, nuclear membrane and nucleoli reform, and the chromosomes become less visible. At the end of it, the spindle apparatus (that has been formed during the prophase and metaphase) disappears. Mitosis finishes when two identical nuclei are formed at the two poles of nuclei. During meiosis, telophase occurs twice. They are termed as telophase I and telophase II, which take place during the meiosis I and meiosis II respectively.


Cytokinesis is the division of cytoplasm resulting in two new daughter cells. Generally it occurs after the telophase. But in some cases, it may occur before the telophase or may not occur at all. The absence of cytokinesis results in multinucleated cells. In animal cells, a cleavage furrow is formed to pinch the two cells apart, hence called ‘furrowing’. In plant cells, cytokinesis occurs by forming a cell plate along the middle line of the cell. In this process, vesicles join to form a cell plate, and it grows outward. Eventually, the cell plate fuses with cell surface membrane and forms two distinct cell walls. 

What is the difference between Telophase and Cytokinesis?

• Telophase is the final stage of nuclear division, whereas cytokinesis is the final stage of cell division.

• Formations of nuclear envelop and nucleoli take place in telophase. In contrast division of cytoplasm occurs during the cytokinesis.

• Telophase results in two daughter nuclei, while cytokinesis results in two separate daughter cells.

• Usually, cytokinesis occurs after the telophase.

• Unlike in the telophase, cell plate is formed (in plant cells) in cytokinesis.

• Anaphase is followed by telophase, whereas telophase is followed by cytokinesis.

• In some cases, cytokinesis may not occur during the cell division. Unlike cytokinesis, telophase always occurs at the end of the cell division.