Q:

What is the purpose of cell division?

A:

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.

Know More
What is the purpose of cell division?
Credit: Dorling Kindersley Dorling Kindersley Getty Images

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.

Learn more about Cells

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What limits cell division?

    A:

    Cell division is limited by a process called cellular senescence, during which cells in culture divide more slowly before stopping entirely. The cells do not necessarily die during senescence, but they no longer replicate.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What happens during the process of cell division?

    A:

    During cell division, a cell divides into two identical daughter cells. This process, called mitosis, has four stages: prophase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What happens during cell division?

    A:

    During cell division, a cell duplicates its own DNA to create two identical cells. The process of cell division, also called mitosis, occurs in five stages: prophase, metaphase, anaphase, telophase and interphase.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the relationship between interphase and cell division?

    A:

    According to The Biology Project at the University of Arizona, interphase precedes mitotic cell division and is the stage during which the cell prepares for mitosis. Technically, interphase, which is also known as interkinesis, is not part of mitosis. However, each of the stages of interphase, G1, S and G2, are preparation for cell division.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore