The main difference between cell division and nuclear division is that the cell division is the splitting of a parent cell into two daughter cells whereas the nuclear division is the splitting of a parent nucleus into two daughter nuclei. Furthermore, the two main steps of cell division are nuclear division and cytokinesis.
Cell division and nuclear division are two types of splitting events that occur during the life cycle of a cell, the cell cycle.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Cell Division
– Definition, Steps, Importance
2. What is Nuclear Division
– Definition, Types, Characteristics of Daughter Cells
3. What are the Similarities Between Cell Division and Nuclear Division
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Cell Division and Nuclear Division
– Comparison of Key Differences
Cell Division, Cytokinesis, Meiosis, Mitosis, Nuclear Division
What is Cell Division
Cell division is the process of splitting the parent cell into two or more daughter cells. According to modern cell theory, new cells derive from the existing cells. Thus, cell division is the mechanism of producing new cells from those existing cells. The two steps of cell division are nuclear division and cytokinesis. During nuclear division, the parent nucleus splits into two daughter nuclei while, during cytokinesis, the cytoplasm of the parent cell splits in between the two daughter nuclei, separating the parent cell into two daughter cells completely.
The two main types of cell division are vegetative cell division, which occurs through mitosis, and the cell division responsible for the formation of gametes, the meiosis. Vegetative cell division is important for the growth, repair and the propagation by means of asexual reproduction. On the other hand, gametes are responsible for sexual reproduction. Significantly, sexual reproduction produces genetic variation through the random distribution of chromosomes, crossing over between homologous chromosomes, and fusion of male and female gametes.
What is Nuclear Division
Nuclear division is the process of splitting the parent nucleus into two or four daughter nuclei. It is the first step of cell division flowed by the cytoplasmic division called cytokinesis. The two methods of nuclear division are mitosis and meiosis. Mitosis results in two daughter nuclei with the exact number of chromosomes as the parent nuclei. On the other hand, meiosis results in four daughter nuclei with half of the chromosomes in each when compared to the number of chromosomes in the parent nuclei.
Mitosis occurs through four steps as described below:
- Prophase – Condensation of the chromosomes and the formation of the mitotic spindle;
- Metaphase – Aligning of the chromosomes in the equatorial plate;
- Anaphase – Constriction of the microtubules of the mitotic spindle to separate the sister chromatids;
- Telophase – Sister chromatids are pulled towards the opposite poles of the cell.
However, in meiosis, there are two consequent nuclear division steps as meiosis 1 and meiosis 2. Each of the two steps of meiosis consists of a prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and a telophase. During meiosis 1, homologous chromosomes separate to from two daughter nuclei. This is followed by cytokinesis, forming two daughter cells. Subsequently, each of these two daughter cells undergoes meiosis 2 where the sister chromatids separate into two daughter nuclei; cytokinesis that follows produces two daughter cells. Ultimately, four daughter cells result in meiosis.
Similarities Between Cell Division and Nuclear Division
- Cell division and nuclear division are two types of splitting events taking place during the cell cycle.
- Both are important for the production of new cells from the existing cells.
Difference Between Cell Division and Nuclear Division
Cell division refers to the process in which a parent cell divides, giving rise to two or more daughter cells while nuclear division refers to the process by which a nucleus divides, resulting in the segregation of the genome to opposite poles of a dividing cell. This explains the basic difference between cell division and nuclear division.
The two main steps of cell division are nuclear division and cytokinesis while nuclear division is the first step of cell division.
Difference in Animal and Plant Cells
There is a difference between cell division and nuclear division in animal and plant cells. Cleavage furrow separates daughter cells in animals while in plants, it occurs through the formation of the cell plate. This is the difference in the cell division in animal and plant cells. On the other hand, animal cells form the spindle apparatus with the assistant of centrioles but, the spindle apparatus of plant cells form without centrioles. This is the difference in the nuclear division in animal and plant cells.
Cell division is responsible for the production of daughter cells from a parent cell. It occurs through nuclear division followed by cytokinesis. Nuclear division is the splitting of the parent nucleus into daughter nuclei. It occurs either through mitosis or meiosis. Moreover, cytokinesis follows nuclear division. It is responsible for the splitting of the cytoplasm between the two daughter nuclei formed during the nuclear division. Therefore, the main difference between cell division and nuclear division is the types of events that occur in each type of division.
1. DANIEL, Xavier. “Cell and Nuclear Division AS Biology.” Academia.edu, Available Here