Mitosis vs Binary Fission
All life forms of prokaryotes and eukaryotes, regardless of the complexity of their cellular organization, need to have some means of multiplying their core building unit, the “cell”. This process is vital for the growth and regeneration in multi-cellular organisms, as well as for asexual reproduction in some unicellular organisms. In this regard, processes of both, mitosis and binary fission, apparently have a similar outcome of producing two units from one. However, careful in-depth analysis into both the processes reveals striking differences between them.
What is Mitosis?
The process of producing two genetically identical diploid nuclei out of one nucleus in eukaryotic cells is known as mitosis. Normally this process is followed by cytokinesis or division of the rest of the cellular organelles, which produce two separate cells. Mitosis and the cytokinesis collectively compose the mitotic phase of the cell cycle. The cell prepares a copy of its chromosomes/genetic material within the nuclei before it undergoes mitosis. These sister chromatids are attached to each other by a region known as centromere. This fast, yet complex process of mitosis is divided into several phases according to the events that occur inside the cell. During prophase, which is the first phase of mitosis, chromosomes is condensed, and mitotic spindle made out of microtubules begins to appear, connecting the opposite poles of the cell. During prometaphase, nuclear membrane disappears and microtubular strands of the mitotic spindle attach themselves to each of the chromatids at the centromere. Chromosomes align themselves in metaphase plate, which is a plane perpendicular to the spindle at the middle of the cell in the metaphase. Sister chromatids get separated at the centromere in the anaphase, and the cell will have its two copies of genetic material separated out. Telophase concludes mitosis by regenerating nuclear membrane around each set of genetic material, producing two separate nuclei.
What is Binary Fission?
Prokaryotic cells divide by the process called binary fission, which produces two identical cells from one parent cell. Binary fission also serves as an asexual reproduction strategy among unicellular prokaryotes apart from cell division. At the beginning of this rather simple process, single circular DNA/genetic material get replicated, and each resulted copy simply attaches themselves to the cell membrane at two different places. Cytoplasmic division then takes place separating out the two copies ultimately resulting genetically identical, two separate cells.
What is the difference between Mitosis and Binary Fission?
• Mitosis can only be seen among eukaryotes while binary fission occurs only in prokaryotes.
• Unlike the binary fission, mitosis can be considered as rather a complex process.
• Mitosis produces two genetically identical nuclei at the end, while binary fission will result in two separate, genetically identical cells.
• During mitosis, specialized structures such as mitotic spindle will be formed to assist in the process. But in binary fission no such structures are made.
• In mitosis, each DNA copy is attached to the mitotic spindle, but in binary fission copies of DNA is attached directly to the cell membrane.
• Mitosis involves only the division of the nuclei, whereas binary fission involves division of genetic material as well as the cytoplasm.