AAT Bioquest

How is cytokinesis different in plants and animals?

Posted November 30, 2022


Cytokinesis is different in plants and animals primarily because of the presence of a rigid cell wall in plant cells. In animal cells, cytokinesis occurs by furrowing of the cytoplasm, which cleaves the cell into two. In plant cells, cytokinesis is initiated when a new cell wall, called the cell plate, forms in the middle of the cell. The cell plate extends on either side from the middle, finally dividing the cell into two. After the separation is complete, cellulose synthesis starts, and the cell plate becomes the primary cell wall. 

A special type of microtubule, known as phragmoplasts, are absent in animals. They are integral to the completion of cytokinesis in plants. This is another point of difference between cytokinesis in plants and animals.

Additional resources

Cytokinesis in Metazoa and Fungi

Cell Meter™ Fluorimetric Live Cell Cycle Assay Kit *Green Fluorescence Optimized for Flow Cytometry*

Cell Cycle Assays