What Is the Difference Between Binary Fission and Mitosis?

difference-between-binary-fission-mitosis Credit: ANDRZEJ WOJCICKI/Science Photo Library/Getty Images

According to Estrella Mountain Community College, the main difference between mitosis and binary fission are the cells that perform these tasks. Prokaryotic cells divide by binary fission, while eukaryotic cells divide by mitosis.

Since eukaryotic cells are more complicated organisms than prokaryotic cells, their replication process is more complex. Mitosis occurs in five separate phases: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase and cytokinesis. In prophase, the chromatic condenses, the nuclear envelope dissolves, centrioles divide and migrate, kinetochore fibers form and the spindle forms. In metaphase, the chromosomes migrate to the equator of the spindle and the spindles attach to the kinetocore fibers. In anaphase, the centromeres separate, and the chromosomes are pulled to the opposite poles of the spindle. In telophase, the chromosomes reach their separate poles, the nuclear envelope reforms, chromosomes uncoil into chromatin form and the nucleolus reforms. In cytokinesis, the new cells split apart, splitting the cytoplasm and allocating golgi, plastids and cytoplasm into each new cell.

Binary fission, the method by which prokaryotic cells divide, is much more simple. The prokaryotic chromosome is a single DNA molecule that replicates, then attaches each copy to a different part of the cell membrane. When the cell pulls apart, the replicated and original chromosomes are separated. The cells then go through cytokinesis to split apart.