Dictionary > Cell division

Cell division

noun, plural: cell divisions
The process in which the parent cell divides, eventually giving rise to new daughter cells
Cell division is the process in which a parent cell divides, giving rise to two or more daughter cells. It is an essential biological process in many organisms. It is the means used by multicellular organisms in order to grow, replenish (repair), and reproduce. In unicellular organisms, a cell division is equivalent to reproduction. There are two forms of cell division: (1) direct cell division and (2) indirect cell division. The direct cell division is one in which the nucleus and the cytoplasm of the cell divide directly into two parts. This form of cell division is also referred to as amitosis. In contrast, the indirect cell division involves complicated changes within the cell, e.g. formation of chromosomes, before the parent cell divides and produce daughter cells. Mitosis is a cell division that involves an indirect method of producing daughter cells.
Cell division is commonly used interchangeably with mitosis, a process comprised of karyokinesis and cytokinesis resulting in two genetically identical cells. Nevertheless, cell division is not exclusive to mitosis; it is also happening in meiosis, which, in comparison, is a process giving rise to cells with non-identical genetic material. Thus, cell division is a biological process involved in growth and reproduction of various organisms. It is part of the organism’s cell cycle.

See also:

  • mitosis
  • meiosis
  • Cell cycle
  • amitosis
  • Related term(s):

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