The key difference between cellular differentiation and cell division is that cellular differentiation is the process of forming a variety of cell types that have specific functions while cell division is the process of splitting a parent cell into two daughter cells.
The cell is the basic structural and functional unit of living organisms. Multicellular organisms develop from a single diploid cell called the zygote. Zygote makes many cells by cell division. Then the cells become specialized in order to fulfill specific and unique functions within the organism. Making many cells from a single cell takes place via cell division. Forming specific cell types from a cell takes place via cellular differentiation. Both cell division and cellular differentiation are vital processes occurring in multicellular organisms.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Cellular Differentiation
3. What is Cell Division
4. Similarities Between Cellular Differentiation and Cell Division
5. Side by Side Comparison – Cellular Differentiation vs Cell Division in Tabular Form
What is Cellular Differentiation?
Cellular differentiation is the process of forming a variety of cell types. In simple words, it is the process by which a cell transforms into a different cell type that has a unique function and phenotype. It is an essential process to produce many specialized cell types that make up the tissues and organs of multicellular animals. Therefore, differentiated cells have specific functions to fulfill. Once they are differentiated, the rate of proliferation decreases. Furthermore, they lose the ability to further differentiate. These cells remain in the G0 stage of the cell cycle without proliferating. Cell differentiation is finely controlled by gene regulation. Moreover, cell interactions, hormones, and environmental factors can also control cell differentiation.
Cell potency determines the ability of cell differentiation. Totipotent, pluripotent, multipotent and unipotent are four types of cell potencies. Totipotent cells can differentiate into all cell types, while pluripotent cells also can give rise to all cells of the tissues in the body. While multipotent cells can differentiate into many cell types, unipotent cells give rise to only one specialized cell type.
What is Cell Division?
Cell division is the process of producing daughter cells by the splitting of a single parent cell. According to modern cell theory, new cells originate from pre-existing cells. Therefore, cell division is the process of producing new cells from the existing cells. Nuclear division and cytokinesis are the major steps in cell division. The nuclear division produces genetic materials needed for new cells while cytokinesis separates the cytoplasm and makes daughter cells.
There are two main types of cell division as mitosis (vegetative cell division) and meiosis (cell division for the formation of gametes). Vegetative cells divide by mitosis, and it is important for growth, repair and asexual reproduction. The formation of gametes is an essential factor for sexual reproduction. Gametes are formed through meiotic cell division. Meiosis enhances genetic variation due to the fusion of male and female gametes, random distribution of chromosomes, crossing over and recombination of homologous chromosomes.
What are the Similarities Between Cellular Differentiation and Cell Division?
- Cellular differentiation and cell division are two important processes occurring in living organisms, especially in multicellular organisms.
- Both take place in cells.
- Also, both are controlled processes.
What is the Difference Between Cellular Differentiation and Cell Division?
Cellular differentiation is the process of making a variety of cells from a cell. Therefore, cellular differentiation produces genetically different cell types. In contrast, cell division makes new cells from parent cells. Hence, cell division produces genetically identical cells and gametes. So, this is the key difference between cellular differentiation and cell division.
Summary – Cellular Differentiation vs Cell Division
Cell division refers to the production of two or more daughter cells from a parent cell. Cellular differentiation refers to the making of cells that are structurally and functionally different. Therefore, this is the key difference between cellular differentiation and cell division. In short, cell division makes new cells and gametes while cell differentiation makes a variety of different cells that have specific functions.