Difference between Plant and Animal Cytokinesis

The process of separation of the cytoplasmic contents of a cell into two separate daughter cells is referred to as cytokinesis. It is the second most important step in the event of mitosis. Cytokinesis is preceded by karyokinesis, which is the division of a nucleus into two daughter nuclei.

The process of cytokinesis is almost similar in all eukaryotes. However, it tends to differ in cells that have a cell wall, such as plant cells and cells that do not have a cell wall, such as animal cells. Let us find out the major differences between a plant cell cytokinesis and animal cell cytokinesis, in the table below.

Plant Cytokinesis

Animal Cytokinesis


The cytoplasmic division of a plant cell is referred to as plant cytokinesis.

The cytoplasmic division of an animal cell is referred to as animal cytokinesis.

Mode of Division

The cells are divided by the formation of a cell plate in the middle of the mother cell.

The cells are divided by the formation of a cleavage furrow on both the sides of the mother cell.

Direction of Division

The division happens centrifugally, that is, the cell plate moves from the centre to the periphery.

The division happens centripetally, that is, the cleavage furrow grows from the periphery to the centre.

Cell Plate Formation

The vesicles from golgi apparatus carry cell wall material to the equator of the cell and form a cell plate that moves towards the periphery of the cell.

No such event takes place in the animal cell.

Cell Membrane

The cell membrane does not pinch.

The cell membrane is pinched off into two daughter cells.

Cleavage Furrow

No such event in plant cells.

A contractile ring is formed in the middle by the actin and myosin filaments that pull the cleavage furrow towards the centre.

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