When Does Cytokinesis Occur?

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Cytokinesis occurs concurrently with two types of nuclear divisions called mitosis and meiosis, which occur in animals. Mitosis and each of the two meiotic divisions result in two separate nuclei contained within a single cell, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

Cytokinesis performs an essential process of separating the cell in half and ensuring that one nucleus ends up in each daughter cell. It begins in anaphase and ends in telophase, reaching completion as the next interphase begins.

In animals, the original cell pinches off the cytoplasm from that cell to form two new cells with each receiving one of the new nuclei from meiosis. Along with the nucleus, the cells also get half of all the other structures from the original cell, including ribosomes, Golgi bodies and mitochondria. Typically, the daughter cells are equal in size, explains Nature Education. In plants, the cell does not pinch off the cytoplasm; instead, vesicles formed by the Golgi bodies fuse at the center of the cell and create a cell plate, which is a membrane that forms across the middle of the cell. A cell wall is then formed on both sides of the plate, which creates the new plant cells. A cell undergoing cytokinesis needs to ensure that the process occurs at the right time and in the right place.