Difference Between Mitosis and Binary Fission


Main Difference

The main difference between the cell division processes mitosis and binary fission is that mitosis is occurring among eukaryotes and binary fission is occurring among prokaryotes.

Mitosis vs. Binary Fission

Mitosis is different from binary fission because cell division that occurs in mitosis process spindle fibers (mitotic apparatus) and sister chromatids are formed. In binary fission, these mitotic apparatus is not formed. In mitosis DNA replication is completed before cell division. In mitosis, replication and separation occur at the same time. Mitosis is a high fidelity replication. Binary fission is not completely reliable. There is an equal distribution of several chromosomes in mitosis. In binary fission sometimes there is an unequal distribution of chromosomes. In mitosis, DNA attaches to spindle for the division. In binary fission, DNA attaches to the membrane before division. Mitosis divides cells that possess a nucleus. Binary fission divides that cells that lack a nucleus. Errors in mitosis can cause serious problems, e.g., cancer. Errors in binary fission are a way to introduce genetic diversity. Mitosis process is corrected through metaphase checkpoints to maintain a uniform number of chromosomes. Due to less reliability of binary fission, there is an increased number of chromosomes in a single cell. During mitosis, organelles are doubled at interphase to separate into two cells. However, prokaryotes don’t have organelles through ribosomes, and other cellular components are doubled before binary fission. Mitosis takes place in humans, plants, and fungi. Binary fission takes place in ameba, hydra, and planaria. Replication and separation of DNA during mitosis happen during different phases, S-phase is the phase in which DNA is copied and during M-phase separation of DNA occurs. In binary fission, these processes take place at the same time.


Comparison Chart

MitosisBinary Fission
Complex processSimple process
Prior Function
Reproduction, repair, and growthReproduction
Vegetative divisionDivision of single organism into two
Mostly Occur in Cells of
Multicellular organismsUnicellular organisms
Takes some timeRapid process

What is Mitosis?

Mitosis is a cell division that usually occurs in eukaryotic cells. In eukaryotic animals (e.g., human cells) nucleus is enclosed in a membrane. During cell division, single-cell is replicated to produce a pair of daughter nuclei and moves to the poles of the cells. It is done due to the cytoplasm and finally divided the cells into two daughter cells. These two cells are identical, having an approximately equal number of organelles and cytoplasm. Mitotic phase is also called as M phase of the cell cycle. Different types of mitosis can be identified among organisms. During mitosis nuclear envelope is broken down and separates the chromosomes; this is known as “open mitosis.” But in the case of fungi chromosomes separate in intact with a nucleus, this is known as “closed mitosis.” Division of mitosis can be divided into four main stages: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase. In the S-phase of the interphase chromosome is replicated before entering into M-phase. For the cell, division proteins are required that are synthesized during the interphase. During interphase cellulose components and organelles are get doubled. In prophase chromosomes are getting replicated, nucleolus and nuclear membrane are disintegrating. Fibers organize to form a structure called “mitotic spindle” and microtubules are help to align chromosomes on spindle fibers in metaphase. In anaphase, spindle draws two sets of chromosomes that are away from each other. In telophase, these spindles and chromosomes are a move of opposites sided of the cell. The cell membrane separates the material into two daughter cells. Then cells are added to non-dividing cell cycle, i.e., interphase.


What is Binary Fission?

Binary fission is a type of asexual reproduction that is used by bacteria, archaea, and other prokaryotic organisms. In binary fission, the cell divides itself into two daughter cells and repeat the process. Binary fission is a method of propagation which is used mainly by bacteria. The division of a single organism into two daughter organisms is known as “binary fission.” Prokaryotic organisms are reproduced by asexual reproduction mostly by binary fission as well as some prokaryotic organelles such as mitochondria also exhibit the process of binary fission to increase in number inside the cell. Prokaryotic organisms have a single circular chromosome in their genome. DNA is replicated before the cell division. When the parent cell is pulled apart, chromosomes of DNA has also separated results in the production of two genetically identical daughter cells that also have the potential to grow in original size and for further replication. While some eukaryotes like algae and Sporozoa is dividing with the help of multiple fission, a process in which several copies are made at once. Other eukaryotes like paramecium and amoebae are propagating using binary fission. While binary fission usually occurs in prokaryotes, but it isn’t exactly true. The bacterial cell doesn’t have a nucleus though its genetic material is found in a special region of the cell is known as “nucleoid.” At the origin of replication, the chromosome is started copying and moves in both direction and forms two replication sites. As the replication progresses, chromosomes separate and move apart, and can divide across the transverse and longitudinal axis. After completing replication, the cell divides and pinches off into two daughter cells.


Key Differences

  1. Mitosis mainly occurs in plants and animals conversely binary fission occurs in bacteria.
  2. In mitosis, errors occur but rarely whereas in binary fission errors occur frequently.
  3. Process of mitosis corrected through metaphase checkpoints; on the other hand, binary fission is a reliable process.


Mitosis and binary fission are the main forms of cell division that are different from each other.

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