The key difference between plant and animal cytokinesis is that in plant cells, cytokinesis occurs through the formation of a cell plate while in animal cells cytokinesis occurs through the formation of a cleavage furrow.
Cytokinesis is the process by which the parent cytoplasm divides into two parts in order to form two daughter cells. Cytokinesis starts at the late stages of mitosis. Moreover, cytokinesis process differs between plant and animal cells. This article attempts to highlight the difference between plant and animal cytokinesis.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Plant Cytokinesis
3. What is Animal Cytokinesis
4. Similarities Between Plant and Animal Cytokinesis
5. Side by Side Comparison –Plant vs Animal Cytokinesis in Tabular Form
What is Plant Cytokinesis?
Cytokinesis in plant cells is different from that in animal cells due to the presence of a cell wall in plant cells. In plant cells, cytokinesis occurs via the formation of a cell plate in the middle of the cell. They do not form a contractile ring.
There are several stages in cell plate formation. These include creating a phragmoplast (an array of microtubules), trafficking of vesicles to the division plane, fusing those to generate a tubular-vesicular network, continuing fusion of membrane tubules and their transformation into membrane sheets and deposition of cellulose, recycling of excess membrane and other material from the cell plate, and finally fusing it with the parental cell wall.
What is Animal Cytokinesis?
In the animal cell, cytokinesis begins shortly after telophase. In this process, a contractile ring and actin filaments assemble in the equator of the cell. The contractile ring is made up of non-muscle myosin II. Myosin II moves along these actin filaments using the free energy released during the ATP hydrolysis. Then the cell membrane constricts and forms a cleavage furrow. Due to continuous hydrolysis, this cleavage moves inwards.
Furthermore, this is a striking process, and is even visible through a light microscope. Ingression continues until the cell physically divides into two. Moreover, abscission provides a structural basis to ensure the completion of cytokinesis.
What are the Similarities Between Plant and Animal Cytokinesis?
- Plant and animal cytokinesis occur after the telophase of the nuclear division.
- Also, both processes divide the parent cytoplasm into two halves in order to produce two daughter cells.
- Furthermore, they are the last stages of cell division of plant and animal cells.
- During both cytokinesis, the cell organelles organize into two cells.
What is the Difference Between Plant and Animal Cytokinesis?
Since plant cells have a rigid cell wall, plant cell cytokinesis occurs via the formation of a cell plate at the middle of the cell. In contrast, animal cell cytokinesis occurs via the formation of a cleavage furrow. So, this is the key difference between plant and animal cytokinesis. Furthermore, in plant cytokinesis, constriction of the cell membrane does not occur while it happens during the animal cytokinesis. Therefore, this is also a difference between plant and animal cytokinesis.
Moreover, a further difference between plant and animal cytokinesis is that the cell wall formation does not occur during the animal cytokinesis while cell walls form during the plant cytokinesis. Besides, the Golgi apparatus releases vesicles that contain cell wall materials, which fuse at the equatorial plane to form the cell plate during plant cytokinesis. On the other hand, non-muscle myosin II and actin filaments assemble equatorially, in the middle of the cell at the cell cortex to form a contractile ring during the animal cytokinesis. So, this is also a significant difference between plant and animal cytokinesis.
Summary – Plant vs Animal Cytokinesis
In plant cells, a contractile ring is not formed; instead, a cell plate forms at the centre of the cell. It is because the plant cell has a cell wall. The cell plate begins to grow and elongate at the centre of the cell. During this, each end grows toward the opposite cell walls. And, this linear wall continues to grow to the inside of the cell. Further, this is continued until it reaches the actual cell walls and creates new two cells. In animal cells, cell membranes on the opposite sides of the cell pinch inwards. It allows the cell to divide. Cleavage furrowing continues until the two sides are touching. When touched, two new cells result in the end. Thus, this summarizes the difference between plant and animal cytokinesis.
1. “Cytokinesis – Definition of Cytokinesis in Animal & Plant Cells.” Biology Dictionary, 28 Apr. 2017, Available here.
1. “Figure 10 02 04” By CNX OpenStax – (CC BY 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Telophase” By Kelvinsong – Own work (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
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