The key difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell division is that prokaryotic cell division occurs through binary fission, while eukaryotic cell division occurs either through mitosis or meiosis.
Cell division is the process where a parental cell divides into two or more daughter cells. It is a part of a larger cell cycle. In eukaryotes, there are two distinct types of cell division mechanisms. Eukaryotic cell has a vegetative cell division called mitosis and a reproductive cell division called meiosis. Prokaryotes (bacteria and archaea), on the other hand, usually show only vegetative cell division called binary fission. Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell division are distinct cell division types.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Prokaryotic Cell Division
3. What is Eukaryotic Cell Division
4. Similarities – Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cell Division
5. Prokaryotic vs Eukaryotic Cell Division Fission in Tabular Form
What is Prokaryotic Cell Division?
Prokaryotic cell division occurs through binary fission. Prokaryotes are much simpler than eukaryotes in their organization. The prokaryotic chromosome is much easier to manipulate than the eukaryotic chromosome. Therefore, in binary fission, the single DNA molecule (chromosome) in prokaryote first replicates and then attaches each copy to a different part of the cell membrane. When the cell begins to pull apart, the original and replicate chromosomes are separated. The formation of a ring composed of repeating units of a particular protein called FtsZ (filamenting temperature-sensitive mutant Z) aids this partition. The formation of this FtsZ ring also stimulates the accumulation of other proteins that work collectively to form a new membrane and cell wall at the specific site. Moreover, a septum is formed between the original and replicate a chromosome, which is extending from the periphery towards the centre of the cell. Finally, the new cell wall in place separates the daughter cells.
Following cytokinesis (cell splitting), it produces two cells of identical genetic composition. However, there is a rare chance of a spontaneous mutation occurring in the prokaryotic genome. One of the consequences of this type of asexual reproduction is that all organisms in a colony are genetically equal. Therefore, when treating bacterial diseases, a drug killing one bacteria will also kill all other members of that specific clone.
What is Eukaryotic Cell Division?
Eukaryotic cell division occurs either through mitosis or meiosis mechanism. The cell division process in eukaryotes is much more complicated than prokaryotes. Eukaryotic cell division has two types: mitosis and meiosis. Mitosis is the equational division, and meiosis is the reductional division. Mitosis is a process where a single cell divides into two identical daughter cells in cell division. The main function of mitosis is to maintain growth and to replace worn-out cells. Mitosis occurs in somatic cells. On the other hand, meiosis is a special form of cell division that creates sex cells: sperms and eggs with one copy of each chromosome. The fusion of the sex cells produces a new offspring with two copies of each chromosome.
Furthermore, eukaryotes have several phases in cell division: interphase, prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase, and cytokinesis. Interphase is the process where a cell must go before mitosis, meiosis, and cytokinesis. It consists of three stages: G1, S, G2. The cell grows, and DNA replicates in this phase. Ultimately, this process prepares the cell for division. The rest of the phases, such as prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase, and cytokinesis, are part of the true cell division.
Similarities Between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cell Division
- Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell division help parental cells to divide into daughter cells.
- Both processes help the survival of organisms.
- These processes contribute to evolution immensely.
- Prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell division have distinct phases in cell division such as cell growth, replication, division and cytokinesis.
Difference Between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Cell Division
Prokaryotic cell division occurs through binary fission, while eukaryotic cell division occurs either through mitosis or meiosis. So, this is the key difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell division. Furthermore, prokaryotic cell division is a simple process, while eukaryotic cell division is a much more complicated process.
The following infographic tabulates more differences between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell division for side by side comparison.
Summary – Prokaryotic vs Eukaryotic Cell Division
A cell divides into two or more cells via cell division. Cell division takes place as a part of a larger cell cycle. Prokaryotic cell division is a simple process while eukaryotic cell division is a much more complicated process. Moreover, prokaryotic cell division occurs through binary fission. Eukaryotic cell division occurs through mitosis or meiosis. Thus, this summarizes the difference between prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell division.
1. “Binary Fission” By Ecoddington14 – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Mitosis vs. meiosis” By Community College Consortium for Bioscience Credentials – Own work (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia