AAT Bioquest

Both unicellular and multicellular organisms undergo mitosis. What are the differences observed in the process between the two?

Posted January 30, 2024


There are several differences in the process of mitosis occurring in unicellular and multicellular organisms. 

In unicellular organisms, cell division occurs without the phases seen in multicellular organisms. This direct division into two parts is referred to as amitosis. During amitosis, the cell undergoes a division process where the nucleus divides, and simultaneously, the DNA content is duplicated. This results in the immediate formation of two separate daughter cells. 

In contrast, in multicellular organisms cell division is a more complex process. Before the cell divides, there's a specific sequence of events. First, the nucleus undergoes a process called karyokinesis, which involves the division of the nucleus into two daughter nuclei. After karyokinesis, there is a separate phase known as the S phase, during which the DNA content within the nucleus is duplicated. Additionally, in unicellular organisms, mitosis is essential for asexual reproduction and sustaining their population. In multicellular organisms, mitosis is essential for allowing for the growth of tissues and organs, for replacing damaged or old cells, and maintaining the overall structure and function of the organism.

Additional resources


Cell Proliferation Assays

Cell Navigator® CDy6 Mitosis Imaging Kit