10 Difference between Telophase and Cytokinesis (With Table)

What is the main difference between telophase and cytokinesis? Telophase is a stage of mitosis or meiosis during cell division while cytokinesis is the final stage of cell division where the cytoplasm divides.

Mitosis and meiosis are the two main types of cell division. The mitosis is a process that result in formation of new body cells while meiosis result in the formation of eggs and sperms among higher animals.

But learners tend to find it challenging to distinguish between telophase and cytokinesis. We wrote this post to share the differences and similarities between telophase and cytokinesis.  Take the time to read the article for better understanding.

Difference between Telophase and Cytokinesis with Table

Basic Terms Telophase Cytokinesis
Occurrence It is a substage of mitosis/meiosis where nuclear division occurs. It is the final stage of cell division where the cytoplasm divides.
Nature of Process Involves the separation of sister chromatids into two separate nuclei. Involves the division of the cell’s cytoplasm to form two daughter cells.
Timing Typically occurs after metaphase and anaphase in mitosis/meiosis. Takes place concurrently with or immediately following telophase.
Cellular Components Focuses on the nucleus and its components, such as chromosomes. Primarily concerns the cell’s cytoplasm, plasma membrane, and organelles.
Key Event Chromosomes decondense, and nuclear envelopes reform around them. Formation of the cleavage furrow (in animal cells) or cell plate (in plant cells).
Outcome Results in the formation of two distinct daughter nuclei with the same genetic information. Leads to the formation of two individual daughter cells.
Biological Purpose Ensures the proper segregation of genetic material into daughter cells. Completes the physical separation of the two daughter cells.
Location Occurs within the nucleus of the cell. Takes place in the cytoplasm just outside the nucleus.
Mitotic/Meiotic Stage Part of the anaphase-telophase transition during mitosis and meiosis. Marks the end of both mitosis and meiosis, except in meiosis II.
Regulatory Mechanisms Regulated by specific proteins and molecular events within the nucleus. Regulated by the contractile ring (actin and myosin) in animal cells, and vesicles and Golgi apparatus in plant cells.

What Is Telophase?

Telophase is one of the stages of cell division, specifically in the process of mitosis and meiosis in eukaryotic cells. It is the final stage of nuclear division and follows the stages of prophase, metaphase, and anaphase.

During telophase, several key events take place:

  1. Chromatids Separate: In earlier stages of mitosis or meiosis, the replicated chromosomes are held together by the centromere. In telophase, the centromere splits, and the chromatids (now individual chromosomes) start moving towards opposite poles of the cell.
  2. Nuclear Envelopes Re-form: As the chromatids reach their respective poles, the nuclear envelope, which had disassembled during prophase, begins to reassemble around each set of chromosomes. This results in the formation of two distinct nuclei within the cell.
  3. Chromosomes Decondense: The chromosomes, which were condensed and visible during earlier stages of cell division, start to decondense as they are enveloped by the nuclear membrane. This marks the return to the interphase state in which the genetic material is less condensed and more transcriptionally active.

Telophase essentially marks the completion of the process of nuclear division. It ensures that the genetic material is properly separated into two distinct nuclei, each containing a complete set of chromosomes.

Following telophase, the cell proceeds to cytokinesis, where the cytoplasm is divided, ultimately resulting in the formation of two daughter cells, each with its own nucleus.

What Is Cytokinesis?

Cytokinesis is the final stage of cell division in eukaryotic cells, following the completion of mitosis or meiosis. It is the process by which the cytoplasm of the cell is divided into two separate daughter cells, each containing its own nucleus.

Cytokinesis is crucial for the completion of the entire cell division cycle, ensuring that the genetic material segregated during mitosis or meiosis is enclosed within distinct cellular compartments.

Key features and events of cytokinesis include:

  1. Division of the Cytoplasm: Cytokinesis involves the physical separation of the cell’s cytoplasm, organelles, and cellular components. This division typically occurs along the cell’s equator and can vary in mechanism between different types of cells.
  2. Animal Cells: In animal cells, cytokinesis is characterized by the formation of a structure called the cleavage furrow. The cleavage furrow is a contractile ring composed of actin filaments and myosin motor proteins. These proteins constrict the cell’s membrane, pinching it inwards until the cell is divided into two daughter cells.
  3. Plant Cells: In plant cells, cytokinesis is distinct from animal cells. Instead of a cleavage furrow, plant cells form a structure known as the cell plate. During cytokinesis in plant cells, Golgi-derived vesicles containing cell wall materials and membrane components accumulate at the center of the cell. These vesicles fuse to form the cell plate, which eventually fuses with the existing cell membrane, creating two daughter cells, each enclosed by its own plasma membrane and cell wall.
  4. Completion of Cell Division: Once cytokinesis is completed, two daughter cells are formed, each containing its own set of organelles, cytoplasm, and, most importantly, a nucleus with the appropriate number of chromosomes.

It’s important to note that cytokinesis is the final step in the cell division process and is distinct from the earlier stages of mitosis or meiosis, which focus on the separation of genetic material within the nucleus.

Cytokinesis ensures that each daughter cell is self-contained and capable of functioning independently as a separate organism, in the case of unicellular organisms, or as part of a multicellular organism.

Main Difference between Telophase and Cytokinesis

  1. Telophase Involves the separation of sister chromatids into two nuclei while cytokinesis Involves the division of the cell’s cytoplasm.
  2. Telophase Occurs within the nucleus while cytokinesis occurs in the cell’s cytoplasm.
  3. Telophase follows anaphase in mitosis/meiosis while cytokinesis occurs concurrently with or immediately following telophase.
  4. Telophase marks the end of nuclear division while cytokinesis marks the end of cell division.
  5. Telophase chromosomes decondense, and nuclear envelopes reform while cytokinesis forms two separate daughter cells.

Similarities between Telophase and Cytokinesis

  1. Both are essential stages of cell division in eukaryotic cells.
  2. Occur toward the end of the cell division process.
  3. Are critical for ensuring the formation of two daughter cells, each with a nucleus.

Conclusion

Telophase and cytokinesis are distinct but interrelated stages in the process of cell division. Telophase primarily involves the separation of genetic material and the reformation of nuclear envelopes, while cytokinesis focuses on the division of the cell’s cytoplasm and the creation of two daughter cells.

These two stages work together to ensure the proper and complete division of a parent cell into two genetically identical daughter cells, each with its nucleus, organelles, and cellular components.

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