Difference Between Plant and Animal Cytokinesis

The difference between plant and animal cytokinesis is mainly due to the following factors like:

  • Mode of cytokinesis
  • Cell abscission

Both the plant and the animal cell divides their cytoplasmic contents equally between the two identical daughter cells but through different mechanisms. In a plant cell, the cytoplasmic division occurs via the fusion of phragmoplast associated vesicles at the metaphase plate. Oppositely, animal cell cytokinesis occurs via constriction of the concentric contractile ring towards the centre of the cell.

Cell abscission is a stage, during which a mother cell separates into two halves with the same nucleocytoplasmic material. Cell abscission In a plant cell takes place through the expansion of cell plate towards the periphery. In contrast, cell abscission in the animal cell occurs via the ingression of cleavage furrow towards the centre.

Content: Plant Vs Animal Cytokinesis

  1. Comparison Chart
  2. Definition of Cytokinesis
  3. What is Cytokinesis in Plants?
  4. What is Cytokinesis in Animals?
  5. Key Differences
  6. Similarities
  7. Conclusion

Comparison Chart

PropertiesPlant CytokinesisAnimal Cytokinesis
MeaningPlant cell cytokinesis is a kind of cell motion or cell division, which forms two identical cells after a cell divides through the cell plate expansionAnimal cell cytokinesis is a kind of cell motion or cell division, which forms two identical cells after a cell divides through the cell constriction or furrowing
Mode of cytokinesisHere, the cytokinesis occurs via a cleavage furrow or cell constriction mechanismHere, the cytokinesis occurs via the fusion of phragmoplast associated associated vesicles
OccurrenceIt begins from the prophase cell stageIt begins from the anaphase cell stage
Cell partitionA plant cell partitions its cellular material equally between the two identical cells through the formation of concentric contractile microfilament ringAnimal cell partitions its cellular material equally between the two identical cells through the formation of central cell plate
Spindle fibresRemnants of the spindle fibres persistHere, the spindle fibres degenerate
Cleavage furrowHere, the formation of cleavage furrow doesn’t appearThe formation of cleavage furrow occurs in the animal cell as a result of inward constriction of the actin ring
Vesicle formationSmall membrane-bound vesicles are derived through the Golgi body There is no such vesicle formation
Vesicle fusionHere, the vesicles fuse that result in the cell plate formation by depositing the starchy materialHere, no such fusion occurs
Mid-bodyCell plate acts as a mid-body that contains remains of mitotic spindles and vesicles filled with cellular materialThe contractile ring acts as a mid-body that possesses actin and myosin filaments
Mid-body expansionThe mid-body extends from the centre to the lateral endsThe mid-body ingresses towards the centre from the peripheral ends
Cell abscissionMother cell separates via centrifugal expansion of the cell plateMother cell separates via centripetal expansion of a cleavage furrow

Definition of Cytokinesis

The term cytokinesis merely refers to the cell motion or cell division. It is defined as a form of cytoplasmic division, which occurs after the chromosomal separation. In plants, the cytokinesis usually begins from the prophase stage of the cell cycle and lasts to the telophase stage. Oppositely, cytokinesis in the animal cells begins from the anaphase stage and occurs concurrently till the telophase stage of the cell cycle. It is the final stage of the cell cycle (both mitosis and meiosis), which divides a cell into two. Generally, the process of cytokinesis involves:

  1. The formation of the midbody
  2. Expansion or contraction of the midbody
  3. Cell partitioning
  4. Formation of two identical daughter cells

Thus, it is a cell division that facilitates the equal distribution of the cellular contents between the two daughter cells in case of both plant and animal cells. It is an important event, which decides the successfulness of all the previously occurred mitotic events. Cytokinesis is the last, but the most crucial stage of the cell division cycle that is necessary for the growth and development of all the living cells, including plants and animals. But, the mechanism of cytokinesis in both the plant and animal cells differ, which we fill further study in this article.

What is Cytokinesis in Plants?

Cytokinesis in plants is defined as one of the cytological events, which uniformly divides the cellular contents of the mother cell between the two daughter cells, as the cell partition occurs via the fusion of phragmoplast associated vesicles.

Here, the microtubule-organizing centres form microtubules, and the Golgi body synthesizes many small membrane-bound vesicles that are filled with the cytoplasmic material of the plant cell.

plant cytokinesis

During the telophase stage, the microtubules remnants or phragmoplast forms at the middle of the cell. The vesicles walk through the microtubules to reach the equator of the phragmoplast. Eventually, the vesicles will fuse.

The fusion of vesicles results in deposition of the starchy material within the plant cell, which is called a cell plate formation. Then, to form the cell wall, a few polysaccharide vesicles fuse to extend the cell plate laterally. As a result, the cell plate ultimately merges with the cell membrane and separates the parent cell into two identical daughter cells.

What is Cytokinesis in Animals?

Cytokinesis in animals is defined as one of the cytological events that evenly distributes the cell material of the parent cell between the two daughter cells after the cell partition occurs through a cleavage furrow or cell constriction method. It starts from the anaphase stage and occurs concurrently till the telophase stage of the cell cycle. The microfilaments constrict to form a concentric contractile ring in between the animal cell.

The concentric contractile ring acts as a mid-body that contains contractile bundles of the actin and myosin-II filaments. Actin filaments form at the division plane, and the myosin filaments pull these to form a ring-like structure within the cell. This contractile ring gradually contracts towards the centre or moves to the inward direction, by making a cleavage furrow.

animal cytokinesis

A cell facilitates the uniform distribution of the cytoplasmic and nuclear contents through the mid-body. Then, cell abscission occurs as the cleavage furrow ingresses from the periphery towards the centre, which results in cell partitioning of the parent cell. Two nascent cells will be produced after the cell division, where each will have the same proportion of the cytoplasmic material.

Key Differences Between Plant and Animal Cytokinesis

  1. Cytokinesis merely refers to the process of cell motion or cell division, in which both a plant and animal cell develops into two nascent cells via a cell plate and contractile ring formation, respectively.
  2. The mode of cytokinesis is one of the most critical features that differentiate the mechanism of the cell division in the plant and animal cell. A plant cell produces daughter cells by the cell-constriction mechanism or through the formation of cell-furrow. Oppositely, the animal cell forms two nascent cells by the fusion of phragmoplast associated vesicles at the metaphase plate.
  3. Vesicles form during the telophase stage of the plant cell, which later moves towards the phragmoplast and fuse with each other to develop a thick cell plate. But, there is no such vesicle formation, and fusion occurs during the cytokinesis of the animal cells.
  4. Cell abscission occurs via a centripetal expansion of the contractile ring in animals, and through centrifugal expansion in plant cells.
  5. The formation of a mid-body during the cytokinesis process is one of the most striking features that differentiate the plant and animal cell cytokinesis. A plant cell possesses a mid-body of phragmoplast (remains of mitotic spindles) and some vesicles filled with the cellular material. In contrast, an animal cell has a mid-body of actin and myosin-II microfilaments that form a concentric contractile ring within the cell.

Similarities

  1. Both the plant cell and animal cell cytokinesis are essential for cell growth and development.
  2. The cell division in plant and animal cell facilitates the equal distribution of the nuclear and cytoplasmic contents between the two daughter cells.
  3. Both the plant cell and animal cell cytokinesis lasts till the telophase stage of the cell division cycle.
  4. Both the processes occur after the chromosomal segregation.

Conclusion

Thus, we can conclude that the process of cytokinesis is a crucial event in the cell cycle that ensures the uniform partitioning of the nuclear and cytoplasmic contents between the two developing cells. Cytokinesis generally involves the extensive restructuring of the cellular contents, and it begins after the chromosomal segregation. In both plant and animal cell, the event of cytokinesis is a pivotal step for cell growth and development.

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