Meaning of Cytokinesis

What is Cytokinesis:

Cytokinesis is a cell division process through which the cytoplasm of a cell is divided to give rise to two daughter cells, different from each other.

This process is characteristic of eukaryotic cellsand takes place after mitosis or meiosis, when the last process of the cell cycle is ending.

However, this process of cell division does not occur in all cells, since some cells can duplicate without having to divide their cytoplasm, as in the case of some fungi or heart muscle cells. In this sense, cytokinesis is more common in animal cells than in plant cells.

Cytokinesis begins during anaphase and ends with telophase of mitosis. In this sense, in mitosis the DNA of the cell is duplicated and divided between the two daughter cells.

Anaphase is the process by which chromosomes are divided and placed on opposite sides of the parent cell to be divided.

For its part, telophase is when the chromatids (strands of chromosomes) reach these opposite poles of the cell. In this way, the formation of new cell membranes for the nuclei of the new daughter cells begins.

Once this occurs, cytokinesis begins, which is the final stage of cell division in both animal cells and plant cells.

See also:

  • Mitosis.
  • Meiosis.

cytokinesis in animal cells

In animal cells, the process of cytokinesis involves the formation of a division groove on the cell surface that extends and deepens until dividing the cell in two, and this is due to the contraction generated by the contractile ring, composed of actin filaments. , myosin and other structural and regulatory proteins.

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As the ring narrows, the groove will be larger and the cytoplasm will be constricted until reaching the point of cell separation. Finally, the two daughter cells are formed.

During the anaphase stage, the contractile ring fits under the plasma membrane and gradually contracts, in this way they fuse and a new membrane is inserted next to the ring, which helps to compensate for the increase in surface area during the division of the cell. cytoplasm and seals the formation of the two new daughter cells.

In this sense, it can be said that cytokinesis takes place in four stages which are initiation, contraction, membrane insertion and completion.

cytokinesis in plant cells

Cytokinesis in plant cells takes place after the formation of a dividing wall known as the phragmoplast, which arises from the accumulation of vesicles that come from the Golgi apparatus and contain cell wall material.

Once the phragmoplast comes into contact with the cell walls, the septum will form in the middle of the cell, making cell division possible.

See also cell cycle.