Difference Between Karyokinesis and Cytokinesis

Main Difference

The cell is the basic unit of life; it can grow, reproduce and perform all special functions needed for life. Cells reproduce or divide because as it is a basic need for survival. Thousands of cell die daily in our body and thousands are newly produced by the process of cell division. Living cells divide by two main processes called mitosis and meiosis.This division is sub-classified into two processes, Karyokinesis and Cytokinesis. Karyokinesis is the process of division of the nucleus of a cell during the phase of division (mitosis or meiosis), whereas cytokinesis is the process of division of cytoplasm of the cell by which cell finally divides into daughter cells. It should be noted that karyokinesis takes place first and then comes the process of cytokinesis, later the process cytokinesis is then followed by division of a cell into daughter cells.

What is Karyokinesis?

Karyo means “nucleus” and kinesis mean “synthesis or division.” Karyokinesis means nucleus division. It is defined as the process by which the nucleus of the cell divide into two and separately moves toward each side of the cell. A cell first undergoes karyokinesis in the division in which one nucleus is divided into two nuclei, and then the further division proceeds in the process of cytokinesis. In karyokinesis, condensation of DNA occurs, the chromosomal content divided equally or half in each nucleus and passed to the next generation or daughter cells. In this process, the first metaphase occurs and is followed by anaphase. Finally, telophase takes place in which nuclear membrane reappears from the center of nucleus dividing it into two. During this place nucleus content of cell under division increases, nucleus became large and convoluted before depletion. The interesting thing is that karyokinesis can take place without cytokinesis.

Comparison Chart

KaryokinesisCytokinesis
MeaningKaryo means “nucleus” and kinesis mean “synthesis or division.”Cyto means “cytoplasm, ” and kinesis mean “synthesis or division.”
Main FunctionKaryokinesis is the process of division of the nucleus of a cell during the phase of division (mitosis or meiosis).Cytokinesis is the process of division of cytoplasm of the cell.
StepsIn Karyokinesis, metaphase is the first step.In cytokinesis, metaphase is the second step.
DividesKaryokinesis divides the genetic material equally.Cytokinesis divides cytoplasm and organelles including nuclei into its daughter cells.
DependencyKaryokinesis is not dependent on cytokinesis; it can occur without being followed by cytokinesis.Cytokinesis can’t take place without karyokinesis, which means it is dependent on karyokinesis.

What is Cytokinesis?

Cyto means “cytoplasm, ” and kinesis mean “synthesis or division.” Cytokinesis means cytoplasmic division. It is defined as the process by which the cytoplasm of the cell divide into two and separately move toward each side cell resulting in the splitting of the cell into two. A cell first undergoes karyokinesis in the division in which one nucleus is divided into two nuclei, and then the further division proceeds in the process of cytokinesis in which cytoplasm of cell divide. In cytokinesis, all the cytoplasm and organelles of the mother cell move to each daughter cell and divide. Metaphase is the second step of cytokinesis. Remember that cell first undergoes karyokinesis in the division and then proceeds to cytokinesis, this shows us that cytokinesis is dependent on karyokinesis to occur first. Before cytokinesis cell size increases, and finally when it divide into two daughter cells, its size reduces and after development the daughter cells attain normal size.

Karyokinesis vs. Cytokinesis

  • Karyo means “nucleus” and kinesis mean “synthesis or division,” whereas Cyto means “cytoplasm” and kinesis mean “synthesis or division.”
  • Karyokinesis is the process of division of the nucleus of a cell during the phase of division (mitosis or meiosis), while cytokinesis is the process of division of cytoplasm of the cell.
  • Karyokinesis takes place first, and cytokinesis takes place at second at Division of the cell.
  • In Karyokinesis, metaphase is the first step, whereas, in cytokinesis, metaphase is the second
  • Karyokinesis divides the genetic material equally, on the other hand, cytokinesis divides cytoplasm and organelles including nuclei into its daughter cells.
  • Karyokinesis is not dependent on cytokinesis, it can occur without being followed by cytokinesis, whereas cytokinesis can’t take place without karyokinesis, which means it is dependent on karyokinesis.

Comparison Video

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Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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