Biology as Poetry: Cell Division

Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Cell Division

Genome duplication followed by cytokinesis.

Note that the process of mitosis actually represents nuclear division, or duplication, rather than cell division since mitosis need not be followed by cytokinesis. Thus, cytokinesis, rather than mitosis, is a key defining feature of cell division, that is, the separation of cytoplasm into two (or more) parts.

Note also that prokaryotic organisms do not display mitosis but nonetheless do undergo cytokinesis and therefore most certainly have cells that divide. Lastly, the criteria that genomes are duplicated – that is, replicated – and, indeed, segregated such that each daughter cell receives a more or less complete genome is similarly crucial to the definition of cell division.

Notwithstanding the above caveats, we nevertheless can distinguish cell division into a number of types that includes simply binary fission along with that which follows mitosis and that which is a product of meiosis. In addition, there is budding and also a process known as schizogony where cytokinesis is delayed such that cells possess multiple nuclei prior to cytoplasmic division.

A more comprehensive list of terms associated with cell division is listed here:

AnaphaseAnaphase IAsterBacterial chromosomeBinary fissionCell cycleCell divisionCentromereChromatinChromosomeCleavage furrowCytokinesisDaughter cellExtrachromosomal DNAG0G1G2Gap phaseInterphaseKinetochoreKinetochore microtubuleM phaseMeiosisMetaphaseMetaphase IMetaphase_plateMitosisMitotic spindlenonkinetochore microtubuleProphaseProphase IPrometaphaseRecombinationReplicationS phaseSeptum (cytoplasmic)Sister chromatidSister chromatid pairTelophaseVertical gene transfer

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