The division of the cytoplasm and the plasma membrane following the division of the nucleus resulting into two cells, each having its own nucleus and cytoplasm surrounded by a plasma membrane.


The cell cycle of eukaryotes is a cyclical series of biological events that certain asexual cells go through. The cell cycle is comprised of these fundamental events: (1) resting phase (Gap 0), (2) interphase (Gap 1, S phase, Gap 2), and (3) cell division (i.e. mitotic phase and cytokinesis). In essence, the cell may enter a quiescent stage called resting phase or it may go through the rest of the phases of the cell cycle. If the cell is committed to undergoing mitosis, it will replicate its DNA during interphase and enters cell division. Cell division is comprised of the mitotic phase and cytokinesis. During mitotic phase, the cell will give rise to two daughter nuclei, each with identical genetic content. Cytokinesis is that phase in the cell cycle wherein other cellular components are separated resulting in the production of two daughter cells from the original (parent) cell.

Cytokinesis following (telophase). In animal cells (and in some plant cells) it is marked by a constriction of the cell membrane called the cleavage furrow. In most plant cells it happens when an expanding cell plate forms across the center of the cytoplasm called the phragmoplast. The separation of cellular components may also occur in meiosis, particularly following telophase II of the second meiotic division.

Word origin: Greek kyto-, kýtos (container, receptacle, body) + Greek kīnēsis (movement)


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