AAT Bioquest

How does binary fission work?

Posted November 30, 2022


Binary fission is a form of asexual reproduction, in which a cell duplicates its genetic material and then divides into two parts, with each new daughter cell receiving one copy of DNA. After the division is complete, the new cells grow and repeat the process. 

There are 5 main steps involved in the binary fission:

Step 1 – In the first step, the DNA unravels completely. Specialized proteins that gain access to the DNA as it unravels play a role in replicating the DNA. 

Step 2 – After replicating the chromosome, the cells start to increase in size and the two DNA strands migrate to opposite sides of the cell. 

Step 3 – The cell elongates and a septum forms in the middle of the cell, separating the two DNA strands. 

Step 4 – The cell wall and membrane start to pinch off at the center. This cleavage furrow becomes deeper and a new cell wall forms, eventually cutting through the parent cell completely, dividing it into two new daughter cells. Each of the daughter cells contains an identical copy of the parent chromosomes along with half the cytoplasmic contents, which is everything it needs to continue the functions of life independently.

Additional resources

Binary fission in Trichoplax is orthogonal to the subsequent division plane

Cell Cycle Assays