A cell in late metaphase. All chromosomes (blue) but one have arrived at the metaphase plate.

Types of Cell Division:
Binary Fission, Mitosis & Meiosis 


Cells are the most fundamental units of life. All living organisms are made of one or more. Cells reproduce by copying their genetic material and then dividing—a parent cell giving rise to daughter cells.
Article Summary: There are three different types of cell division, the binary fission of prokaryotes, and mitosis and meiosis in eukaryotes. Here are the basics.
Types of Cell Division: Binary Fission, Mitosis & Meiosis
Binary Fission 
Binary Fission Diagram
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Endomembrane System of a Eukaryotic Cell, Mariana Ruiz

Page last updated: 3/2016
Instructor's Corner
Although these basics of cell division are the same for all forms of life, there are important differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, as well as between somatic cells and germ cells.

What Is Binary Fission?
The reproduction of prokaryotic cells (bacteria and bacteria-like Archaea) is accomplished through binary fission.
Mitosis & Meiosis 
> PAGE 2 

See Page 2 for homework assignment and other free teaching materials on 
The Cell Cycle!
How frequently a bacterium undergoes cell division is known as generation time, and, even under optimal conditions, the time required varies widely among bacteria.

Illustration of Prokaryotic Binary Fission

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Binary fission is essentially cloning. Barring mutations that may have occurred when the genetic material was copied (a process called replication), the two resulting daughter cells are identical to the parent cell. 
Simple gif animation of binary fission.
A bacterial cell that is ready to divide first copies its genetic material, called the nucleoid—a single, circular chromosome of DNA 
(deoxyribonucleic acid). The two chromosomes, each attached to the plasma membrane, move apart as the cell elongates. 
Once the two copies of genetic instructions are separated, the cell divides, laying down new cell wall and membrane between the two chromosomes.

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