The key difference between fragmentation and regeneration is that fragmentation is the process of breaking an organism into several pieces that are capable of growing into new individuals while regeneration is a form of re-growth of a broken part of the body.
There are two types of reproduction methods seen in all the organisms living on this earth. They are asexual reproduction and sexual reproduction. Asexual reproduction involves no exchange of genetic materials, while sexual reproduction involves the exchange of genetic material. Since there is no genetic material exchange taking place in asexual reproduction, the probability of variations is very low. However, asexual reproduction is more advantageous in well adapting to a constant environment with no significant changes. In animals, asexual reproduction is generally common in invertebrate forms. There are different types of asexual reproduction methods such as fission, budding, fragmentation and regeneration. Mainly, this article attempts to discuss the difference between fragmentation and regeneration.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Fragmentation
3. What is Regeneration
4. Similarities Between Fragmentation and Regeneration
5. Side by Side Comparison – Fragmentation vs Regeneration in Tabular Form
What is Fragmentation?
Fragmentation is the process of breaking off a piece of an organism followed by mitotic cell division. It is a mode of asexual reproduction which does not involve meiosis. Further, this broken part can develop into an independent adult. Reproduction of sea anemones, starfishes, and flatworms are well-known examples of fragmentation.
Fragmentation is a very common mode of reproduction in invertebrates, and it is absent in vertebrates. Organisms such as cyanobacteria, moulds, lichens, many plants and animals like sponges, flatworms and sea stars follow fragmentation in order to reproduce. The ability of fragmentation depends on the complexity of the organism. It may or may not be intentional and may occur naturally or by predators. Most of the time, after the splitting, both fragments are capable of regenerating into complete individuals.
What is Regeneration?
Regeneration is a modified form of fragmentation. It is kind of a process that makes genomes, cells, organs, organisms, and ecosystems resilient after disturbances or damage. Every species living on earth can regenerate, but only a few species use it as an asexual reproduction method, producing new individuals using their body parts.
Planarian flatworms possess high regeneration capabilities compared to other organisms. Among vertebrates, tailed amphibian (Salamanders and newts) and certain lizards (geckos) are capable of regenerating their limbs, tails, jaws, eyes and certain internal organs. As they are more complex multicellular animals, they cannot use regeneration to reproduce or as an asexual reproduction method. Starfishes also have the same ability to regenerate their arm, but unlike tailed amphibians and lizards, lost arms of starfishes could regenerate a completely new organism.
There are two major steps in the regeneration process. Firstly adult cells de-differentiate into stem cells. Stem cells are similar to embryonic cells. These stem cells then develop and differentiate into new tissues, thereby making new parts.
What are the Similarities Between Fragmentation and Regeneration?
- Fragmentation and regeneration are two methods which help living organisms to grow their bodies.
- Both methods occur mainly in multicellular organisms.
- Also, both processes occur as a result of mitosis.
What is the Difference Between Fragmentation and Regeneration?
Fragmentation is the process of breaking an organism into several pieces that are capable of growing into new individuals while regeneration is a re-growth of a broken part of the body. So, this is the key difference between fragmentation and regeneration. Furthermore, fragmentation can be seen only in invertebrate forms, while regeneration is present in both vertebrates and invertebrates. Therefore, we can consider this as a major difference between fragmentation and regeneration.
Furthermore, fragmentation is a method of reproduction, while regeneration can be either used as a reproduction method (E.g. Starfish) or to regenerate broken or lost body parts (E.g. Lizards). Moreover, a further difference between fragmentation and regeneration is that regeneration is more commonly seen in animals than in plants while fragmentation is more commonly seen in plants than in animals (E.g. Nonvascular plants). In addition, fragmentation can be found only in certain organisms, while various forms of regeneration can be found in almost all the animals living on the earth.
Summary – Fragmentation vs Regeneration
Fragmentation is a method of asexual reproduction. In this method, an organism divides into several parts which are capable of developing into new organisms. Regeneration is the process that aids in the re-growth of broken parts of an organism. Some organisms use regeneration as a mode of reproduction as well. Generally, fragmentation is common in invertebrates, while regeneration is common to all living organisms. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between fragmentation and regeneration.
1. “Fragmentation & Regeneration Reproduction in Plants & Animals.” Study.com, Available here.