Cytokinesis

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Cytokinesis, pictured by an electron microscope

Cytokinesis is the division of cells after either Mitosis or Meiosis I and II.

During Cytokinesis, the cytoplasm (the liquid center of the cell that holds the organelles into place.) splits into two equal halves, a cleavage point appears and the cell becomes two daughter cells. This occurs right after the beginning of anaphase (in mitosis and in meiosis I and II) and continues during telophase (in mitosis and in meiosis I and II) until the cell has completely divided and interphase (in mitosis and meiosis II only) has re-started. A new and complete nucleus forms in each of the two cells.

Cytokinesis in plants[change | edit source]

In plants cytokinesis is slightly different. As plant cells cannot move apart because of their rigid cell wall, a cell plate begins to form during late anaphase and throughout telophase. When the cytoplasm and organelles are divided evenly between the two new cells, the plate then becomes less flimsy and soon becomes another rigid cell wall separating the daughter cells. Cytokinesis splits the cell wall, unlike animal cells, where it splits in the cell membrane.