Difference Between Karyokinesis And Cytokinesis

Karyokinesis is defined as the division of the nucleus during the M phase of the cell cycle. It is the first step in M phase. This process does not depend on cytokinesis. It divides the genetic material equally. The daughter chromosome is separated into two daughter nuclei.

Cytokinesis, on the other hand, is defined as the division of the cytoplasm during the M phase of the cell cycle. It is the second step in the M phase. This process cannot occur without karyokinesis. It is also the final stage of mitosis, where the cytoplasm and other cell organelles divide to form the two daughter cells.

Read on to explore the major differences between karyokinesis and cytokinesis.

Karyokinesis vs Cytokinesis

Karyokinesis Cytokinesis
Karyokinesis means the process of division of the nucleus.
Cytokinesis means the process of division of cytoplasm.
The nucleus gets divided into two daughter nuclei.
The cytoplasm, cell organelles and the nuclei divide and are passed on to daughter cells equally.
It can occur with or without cytokinesis.
It is dependent on karyokinesis.

What is Karyokinesis?

Karyokinesis is the step during cell division where the nucleus divides to form two daughter nuclei. It is usually followed by cytokinesis. In this process, the DNA condenses and the chromosomal material divides equally into two halves.

What is Cytokinesis?

Cytokinesis means “cytoplasmic division”. The cell first undergoes karyokinesis where the nucleus divides into two, and then the cytoplasmic division takes place. All the cytoplasm and cell organelles of the mother cell are passed on to each daughter cell. The process is dependent on karyokinesis.

These were some of the major difference between Karyokinesis and Cytokinesis. To explore more fascinating topics, register at BYJU’S.

Relevant Concepts:

Cell Cycle And Division Mitosis
Difference Between Mitosis And Meiosis Meiosis 1 Stages And Process

Frequently Asked Questions


What happens during karyokinesis?

During karyokinesis, the nucleus divides into two daughter nuclei. This process occurs in four steps – prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase.


Which process occurs first – karyokinesis or cytokinesis?

Karyokinesis occurs before cytokinesis. The nucleus divides before the cytoplasm.

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