Difference between Binary Fission and Mitosis

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Difference between Binary Fission and Mitosis

What is Binary fission?

Binary fission is the primary mode of reproduction in prokaryotes. Binary fission literally means division in half. It is one of the simplest form of asexual reproduction. It is faster than other forms of cell division. It can be of several types like simple, transverse, longitudinal and oblique binary fission. Unicellular organisms like amoeba and paramecium reproduce by binary fission [1].

What is Mitosis?

Mitosis is a type of cell division that takes place in eukaryotes. Mitosis is mainly important for growth, development and regeneration of cells [2], although it is also used for asexual reproduction [3]. It involves the mitosis spindles and sister chromatids for cell division and segregation. It has several phases like prophase, prometaphase, metaphase, anaphase and telophase [4], [5]. Higher organisms like fungi, plants and animals including humans, use mitosis as one of their modes of cell division.

What are the major differences between binary fission and mitosis?

  1. Binary fission is a process of cell division in prokaryotes (the cells that do not have nucleus) whereas mitosis takes place in eukaryotes (the cells that have a well-defined nucleus).
  2. In binary fission, a single cell divides into two daughter cells. In mitosis, the cell division is vegetative.
  3. The process of binary fission does not include spindle formation whereas the mitosis includes spindle formation.
  4. Binary fission is much faster than mitosis
  5. Binary fission is a simple process of cell division whereas mitosis is a complex process involving multiple steps.
  6. Binary fission does not include sister chromatids whereas mitosis involves sister chromatids
  7. Binary fission does not include multiple stages. On the other hand, mitosis consists of four distinct stages or phases called prophase, prometaphase, metaphase, anaphase, and telophase [5].
  8. Cellular components like ribosomes are doubled before the binary fission whereas in mitosis, the organelles doubles at the interphase, which is a part of mitosis.
  9. There are several types of binary fission, these include simple binary fission for example in amoebas, transverse as in paramecia and planarians, longitudinal as in euglenas and oblique as in marine dinoflagellates. Mitosis does not have different types like binary fission.
  10. Binary fission is the main mode of asexual reproduction in prokaryotes. On the other hand, in eukaryotes, mitosis is the main mode of growth, development and regeneration.
  11. In binary fission, the cell membrane attaches the DNA whereas in mitosis, the DNA is attached to the spindle fibers and not cell membranes.
  12. Binary fission sometimes results in the duplication of the chromosomes which leads to increase in the number of chromosomes in the cell and hence is a less reliable process. Mitosis is a more regulated process in which the chromosome number is regulated by a checkpoint in metaphase. This metaphase check point helps in maintaining the same number of chromosomes in the cells [6].

The table summarizing the differences between Binary Fission and Mitosis

The differences between binary fission and mitosis are summarized in tabular form below.

Binary fission VERSUS Mitosis


Binary fission and mitosis are both types of asexual cell division. Binary fission is the asexual mode of reproduction in prokaryotes and mitosis is the vegetative mode of reproduction in eukaryotes. Binary fission is mainly used for reproduction whereas mitosis is mainly for growth and development. Binary fission is simple and rapid as compared to mitosis which is more complex and slow. Mitosis consists of several phases. Binary fission takes place in unicellular organisms like amoeba whereas mitosis is one of the main modes of reproduction in all higher organisms like plants and animals.

Author: Debashree Basu

Debashree received her PhD in Biochemistry and specialized in infectious diseases. She is a Research Scientist whose main focus is bacteria, yeast and mammalian cells. She published articles in peer reviewed journals.

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