What process of cell division in eukaryotes is most similar to cell division in prokaryotes? Explain your answer.
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Prokaryotes typically reproduce by binary fission: the cell replicates all of its organelles and genetic material, then divides into two identical cells. Specifically, the genes in the two new cells are identical to each other and the parent cell.
In eurkaryotes there are two kinds of cell division:
1. Mitosis, in which the entire cell doubles it nucleus, genetic material, and organelles and splits to produce two identical cells with identical genetic material.
2. Meiosis, which occurs in the process of sexual reproduction. In meiosis, two pairs of genetic material combine before the cells splits, producing cells that have genes that are different from each other and the parent cell.
The main issue is whether the genetic material in the new cells is the same or different, and the forgoing should make that clear.
Despite differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes, there are several common features in their cell division processes. Replication of the DNA must occur. Segregation of the "original" and its "replica" follow. Cytokinesis ends the cell division process. Whether the cell was eukaryotic or prokaryotic, these basic events must occur.
Cytokinesis is the process where one cell splits off from its sister cell. It usually occurs after cell division. The Cell Cycle is the sequence of growth, DNA replication, growth and cell division that all cells go through. Beginning after cytokinesis, the daughter cells are quite small and low on ATP. They acquire ATP and increase in size during the G1 phase of Interphase. Most cells are observed in Interphase, the longest part of the cell cycle. After acquiring sufficient size and ATP, the cells then undergo DNA Synthesis (replication of the original DNA molecules, making identical copies, one "new molecule" eventually destined for each new cell) which occurs during the S phase. Since the formation of new DNA is an energy draining process, the cell undergoes a second growth and energy acquisition stage, the G2 phase. The energy acquired during G2 is used in cell division (in this case mitosis).
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