Key Difference – Cell Determination vs Cell Differentiation
Cell determination and cell differentiation are two important scenarios of the cell development and are often misinterpreted as they are not clearly distinguished. Cell determination refers to a phase of cell development where the cell’s genetic expression is determined to perform a specific function, but morphological changes are not visible during this stage. The cell is said to be determined when it is completed. Cell differentiation refers to a phase of cell development, where the cell differentiates to acquire specific morphological characteristics so that the cell could be identified as a special type of cells. The key difference between cell determination and cell differentiation is the display of cellular morphological characters. During cell determination, morphological differentiation of cells cannot be observed, whereas, during cell differentiation, the cell is developed to possess specific morphological features.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Cell Determination
3. What is Cell Differentiation
4. Similarities Between Cell Determination and Cell Differentiation
5. Side by Side Comparison – Cell Determination vs Cell Differentiation in Tabular Form
What is Cell Determination?
The process of determining the cell’s fate is known as the cell determination. It is an important phase of cell development. During cell proliferation from the zygote to the mature blastocyst stage and finally to the mature, the cell receives a signal by mentioning which type of a cell it is. Thus, the cell will be determined. During embryogenesis, the signals received will retain a cell memory that will determine the next cell emerging. Gene expression phase is the main process involved in cell determination. According to the requirement, the gene expression of the particular cell will determine whether the respective cell should proceed for differentiation or not.
During the cell determination phase, the genetic background of the cell’s development procedure is optimized, but there are no morphological changes observed. Therefore, to observe cell determination, one should perform a genetic analysis of the cell before reaching the determination stage or at the determining stage. Depending on the metabolic need, the gene expression of the cells changes, this, in turn, would either switch on or switch off a particular gene and make the cell determined for the particular function.
Upon completion of the cell determination phase, the fate of the cell is decided. Therefore, cell determination is followed by cell differentiation where the cell develops to a specialized form.
What is Cell Differentiation?
Cell determination is followed by the most important phase of the cell development, which is the cell differentiation process. The cell differentiation allows the less specialized cells to become more specialized over time. This is very important and plays a prominent part in developmental biology.
Different tissues are involved in performing different functions. Therefore, different specialized cells are involved in forming these tissues. For example, liver cells constitute the liver tissue that performs the special functions of the liver. And therefore, the same cells in the lungs cannot perform the function of liver cells. Thus the cell differentiation process is vital to maintain the functions of different systems in order and also increase the accuracy and the efficiency of the cellular metabolic processes.
Cell differentiation will determine the cell’s size, shape, morphological characters, metabolic activities and the manner in which the cell responses to external or internal stimuli and signals. These changes are governed by the alternation of genetic expression that takes place during the cell determination stage.
The cells that are able to differentiate are of different types. There are two main types of cells that have the ability to differentiate. They are pluripotent cells and totipotent cells. Pluripotent cells have the ability to differentiate into many different types of cells. Pluripotent cells include stem cells in animals and meristematic cells in plants. Totipotent cells are the cells that are capable of differentiating to all cell types. They include the zygote and the early embryonic cells.
What are the Similarities Between Cell Determination and Cell Differentiation?
- Both Cell Determination and Cell Differentiation play an important role in the development of the cells.
- Both Cell Determination and Cell Differentiation can be analyzed by using imaging techniques.
- Both Cell Determination and Cell Differentiation processes are important to predict the disease biology.
What is the Difference Between Cell Determination and Cell Differentiation?
Cell Determination vs Cell Differentiation
|Cell determination refers to a phase of cell development where the cell’s genetic expression is determined to perform a specific function.||Cell differentiation refers to the phase of cell development, where the cell differentiates to acquire specific morphological characteristics so that the cell could be differentiated and identified as a special type.|
|Morphological changes of the cell are not observed during the cell determination.||Morphological changes are clearly observed at the end of cell differentiation.|
|Specialized Nature of the Cell|
|The cells in the cell determination phase are not very specialized.||Highly specialized cells can be observed in cell differentiation phase.|
Summary – Cell Determination vs Cell Differentiation
Cell determination and cell differentiation are two key occurrences that take place during the development of a specific cell. The cell is said to be determined when the cells’ genetic composition and expression decide the fate of the cell. During the cell determination process, the cell does not show any morphological changes or changes in size and shape. Cell determination is followed by cell differentiation. Once the fate of the cell is decided, the cells then proliferate to differentiate into specialized cell types based upon the functionality of the cells. Cell differentiation results in highly specialized and specific cells. This is the difference between cell determination and cell differentiation.
1.Slonczewski, Joan. “Differential gene expression and development.” Chapter 11. Differentiation and Determination. Available here
2.“Cell Differentiation – Process, Specification/Determination and Significance.” MicroscopeMaster. Available here
1.’A model of signalling networks regulating myogenic cell-fate’By Silva, H. and Conboy, I.M., Aging and stem cell renewal (July 15, 2008), StemBook, ed. The Stem Cell Research Community, StemBook, doi/10.3824/stembook.1.11.1, (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2.’Stemcelldifferentiaion’By US gov (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia