When Does The Cytoplasm Divide? 7 Facts You Should Know

Cytoplasm is a semifluid material inside the cell, which is rich in water, amino acids, and salts. Below, we can find the detailed view on the cytoplasm and their division.

Cytoplasm divides during the mitotic phase in the cell cycle process, in which a single cell after the interphase process (cell development and the duplication of the genetic material) splits itself and forms two daughter cells. This occur in the eukaryotic cells or cells that possess nucleus.

In simpler organisms like prokaryotes (eg. bacteria), there is no nucleus, therefore mitosis does not take place. A protein called FtsZ initiates the cell division process and thus the cytoplasmic division takes place.

Why does cytoplasm divide?

For every cellular process taking place inside a living organism, there is a purpose. Now let us see the reason behind the division of cytoplasm.

Cytoplasm division takes place because the cell needs to get repaired from any damage and for the production of new cells. When any cell in the living system gets damaged, it needs to be replaced or repaired and also in order to produce a new cell, cytoplasm has to divide into 2 daughter cells.

If cytoplasmic division is not done, there will be damaged cells and no new cells will be produced, which will eventually lead to cell death and finally the cellular mechanism of the organism will be terminated.

How does cytoplasm divide?

Various process takes place before cytoplasmic division. Let us see which mechanism is used for the division of cytoplasm.

The division of cytoplasm or the cytokinesis process takes place by the furrow formation. Furrow is a structure in which a thin line is formed in the cell so that it separates the content of the cell into 2 equal halves and they are split completely and thus the 2 daughter cells are produced.

Before the division of cytoplasm, there is a process called interphase, in which the cell develops or matures and produces an exact copy of the genetic material. The process that follows the interphase is M phase in which the division of cytoplasm takes place.

How does cytoplasm divide in plant cells?

We know the differences between a plant cell and an animal cell, so what about their cytoplasmic division? Let us see in detail.

As per Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition, published in the NCBI, plant cells form a structure called the cell plate for its cytoplasmic division to take place. Plant cell produces a cell plate inside out as a partition and thus 2 daughter nuclei are divided.

Plant cells have a strong cell wall as a protection in their outer layer. The cell plate is formed only during the cytoplasmic division that takes place in the inside of the cell.

How does cytoplasm divide in animal cells?

Animal cells are complicated when compared to other living organisms, so is their cell division process. Let us see how cytoplasm divides in animal cells.

In animal cells, cell division process takes place by a ring-like structure called the contractile ring which is formed during the cell division process, thus separating the 2 daughter nuclei. The contractile ring contracts from inside and forms a dent like structure.

when does the cytoplasm divide
Cell Components
Image Credits- Wikimedia

In what phase does cytoplasm split between two cells?

There are different phases in nuclear and cytoplasmic division. Let us see when exactly cytoplasm split between two cells.

Cytoplasm splits exactly on the telophase, which is the last phase in the mitosis. Here, the protein filaments called the contractile ring emerges, thus making a division or separation in 2 nuclear contents which in turn results in the formation of 2 daughter nuclei.

How many times does cytoplasm divide in meiosis?

Cytoplasmic division takes place at an exact number through which the correct genetic and other information is carried. Let us have a detailed look now.

Cytoplasm divides exactly 2 times during meiosis. In meiosis, the resultant cells are haploid (that is, they have only 1N chromosome) and so they are genetically identical. Cytoplasm thus divides twice to produce four daughter cells.


This article explains in detail all the facts about cytoplasmic division, the reason behind it and their mode of action in plant and animal cells and also the frequency of cytoplasmic division in meiosis.

Sugaprabha Prasath

Hello, I am Sugaprabha Prasath, a Postgraduate in the field of Microbiology. I am an active member of the Indian association of applied microbiology (IAAM). I have research experience in preclinical (Zebrafish), bacterial enzymology, and nanotechnology. I have published 2 research articles in an International journal and a few more are yet to be published, 2 sequences were submitted to NCBI-GENBANK. I am good at clearly explaining the concepts in biology at both basic and advanced levels. My area of specialization is biotechnology, microbiology, enzymology, molecular biology, and pharmacovigilance. Apart from academics, I love gardening and being with plants and animals. My LinkedIn profile- https://www.linkedin.com/in/sugaprabha-prasath-66937b1b3/

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