UCSB Science Line
Sponge Spicules Nerve Cells Galaxy Abalone Shell Nickel Succinate X-ray Lens Lupine
UCSB Science Line
How it Works
Ask a Question
Search Topics
Our Scientists
Science Links
Contact Information
How could you tell if a cell which was going through cytokinesis, was a plant cell or a animal cell?
Question Date: 2015-10-21
Answer 1:

During cytokinesis, the enlarged cell becomes two cells. In plants, this is done by a rigid “cell plate” being formed in the middle of the cell to form two cells. This plate is made of cellulose which is the same material that the cell wall is made of. The plate starts in the center of the cell and extends outwards towards the cell membrane.

In animal cells, the cell physically divides by the cell pinching in the middle into two cells. This pinching starts on the outside and extends into the middle until the enlarged cell becomes two cells. So the best way to tell if a dividing cells was a plant or animal cell would be to see if it’s pinching into two cells which would tell you that it’s an animal cell.

Answer 2:

Plant cells make a cellulose plate between the two new cells, while animal cells pinch off at the point of division. However, this doesn't tell you about all cells, because fungi, protozoans, algae, etc. do it their own ways, some like animals, and some like plants.

Answer 3:

Cytokinesis is the division of the cytoplasm that occurs as one of the last steps in cellular division. The biggest and most noticeable difference between plant and animal cytokinesis is that plants form a cell plate while dividing, whereas animal cells form a cleavage furrow. Plants have to form a cell plate because they have cell walls and animal's don't. To form a cell plate, vesicles align at the metaphase plate in the middle of the cell, fuse together and grows until it fuses with the plasma membrane. On the other hand, a cleavage furrow a contractile ring made up of protein filaments spans the equator of the cell and then pinches the cell in half.

Answer 4:

Thanks for this question! In general, if you looked at a cell, you would likely be able to determine if it was a plant or animal cell. Plant cells have chloroplasts, the organelles that allow plants to convert sunlight into energy. Animal cells do not have these organelles. Additionally, plant cells generally have incredibly large vacuoles, which are organelles that hold fluids and help plants remain rigid. Finally, plant cells have cell walls in addition to cell membranes. When a cell divides, they also have to make new cell walls, which should be visible along the division line.

Click Here to return to the search form.

University of California, Santa Barbara Materials Research Laboratory National Science Foundation
This program is co-sponsored by the National Science Foundation and UCSB School-University Partnerships
Copyright © 2020 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.
UCSB Terms of Use