What is the difference between a cell plate and cleavage furrow?

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Cell replication takes several forms, but the most common is cell division, or the splitting of cell into multiple new cells. Each new cell contains the full genetic information of the original, being in a sense an identical clone.

Cell Plates are structures that grow in plant cells. The cell plate grows between the identical components of the splitting cell, acting as a partition that eventually contains the components and becomes the solid cell wall that protects the inside. This serves to separate the two new cells and seal off the area that might open as the cell splits.

Cleavage Furrows are depressions in animal cells that form as the cell begins its division. Because the cell cannot open up and risk losing all its internal fluids and components, the cell wall tightens around the point of division and pinches off to contain each cell. The cleavage furrow surrounds the cell and slowly tightens as the division process continues.

Cell plates are found only in plant cells; cleavage furrows are found only in animal cells.

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