|How could you tell if a cell which was going
through cytokinesis, was a plant cell or a animal
|Question Date: 2015-10-21|
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
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.
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.
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.
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