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What is the purpose of cell division?

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Quick Answer

Cell division has three purposes for an organism: reproduction, growth and maintenance. For single-celled organisms, this is their direct and only method of reproduction, and it serves no other purpose. For multicellular organisms, cell division is a step in reproduction and is necessary for growth and maintenance.

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What is the purpose of cell division?
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Full Answer

Cell division occurs in two different basic ways. The first, and by far the most common, is mitosis. Mitosis is the only way in which single-celled organisms divide, and the vast majority of cell division for multicellular life is mitosis as well. In mitosis, a cell divides into two smaller cells, known as daughter cells, with identical genes. In single-celled organisms, these daughter cells generally have the same basic characteristics as the parent cell. In multicellular organisms, these can either be similar to the parent cell or, as in the case of the production of blood cells, very different, although the genes are the same.

Meiosis, on the other hand, produces gametes, daughter cells that are structurally different from their parent cells and contain only half the number of genes. Theses gametes are used for sexual reproduction in multicellular life and must combine with another corresponding gamete before they can begin growing via mitosis.

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Related Questions

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    What causes cell division?

    A:

    Cell division is part of the cell cycle, and it is caused either by binary fission or as part of a multiple-phase cycle. Binary fission is the method by which prokaryotic cells divide. Eukaryotic cells use the three-phase cycle commonly referred to as mitosis.

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  • Q:

    Why does cell division occur?

    A:

    Cell division, also called mitosis, occurs in multicellular organisms to create tissues, organs and organ systems. It is a method of asexual reproduction in unicellular organisms, and it occurs because it’s essential for increasing the population of the organisms.

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    When a cell divides, what are the two new cells called?

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    Cell division creates what are called daughter cells. The process of mitosis creates diploid daughter cells and the process of meiosis results in haploid daughter cells.

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    What are three reasons why cells divide?

    A:

    Cells divide for the purposes of reproduction, replacement of lost or dead cells and to promote growth of the structure in which they are located. Only the first of these reasons applies to single-celled organisms, but the others are essential to the efficient functioning of a multicellular body.

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