Both types of fission are the types of asexual reproduction, in which the binary fission give rise to two daughter cell from the parent cell, whereas in multiple fission, the parent cell gives rise to numerous daughter cell. Binary fission is one of the most common methods of reproduction in the prokaryotes, while multiple fission occurs in some parasitic species and protists.
Generally, in biology, one of the basic of the critical concepts is ‘reproduction‘. It gives the knowledge of how the living organisms give rise to one of their species and how they vary from other organisms as well. So, ultimately we get to know the likeness among the species and how the species continue to show the existence with the changes in the environment.
In unicellular organisms, if the cell reproduces it gives rise to the new individual, but in multicellular organisms, the reproduction of a cell signifies regeneration and growth. However, in multicellular organisms production of an offspring is a complex process with an elaborated involvement of many hormones.
We all are aware of the fact that reproduction is also of two types – asexual and sexual. Sexual reproduction is the process where there is the involvement of two-parent cell (fusion of gametes), which reproduce and give birth to the new individual; In contrast, asexual reproduction involves only one parent cell, that divides its nucleus and gives birth to their offspring.
Asexual reproduction occurs in unicellular organisms like bacteria and archaea and at multicellularity level in plants, fungi and few lower animals. There are various types of asexual reproduction which have been observed till now, such as – fission, budding, fragmentation, spore formation, vegetative propagation and parthenogenesis.
However, in this context, we will be studying the two terms related to asexual reproduction and how they differ with each other, which are binary fission and multiple fission. We will also be discussing the process of reproduction.
Content: Binary Vs Multiple Fission
|Basis for Comparison
|When the parent cell divides into two equal parts and gives rise to the two daughter cell is known as binary fission.
|When the parent cell divides and gives rise to numerous daughter cells.
|Number of division
|Pattern of Division
|1. Nucleus, as well as cytoplasm, divides simultaneously.
2. A definite pattern of division.
3. No cyst is formed during division.
|1. The nucleus divides, which gets surrounded by cytoplasm.
2. No definite pattern of division.
3. Cyst or protective covering is formed during division.
|Leaves no residues.
|During favourable conditions.
|During favourable as well as unfavourable conditions.
|Give rise to
|Two daughter cells' so two nuclei are formed from the parent cell.
|Numerous daughter cell, so multiple nuclei are formed from the parent cell.
|Euglena, Amoeba, Protozoans, Bacteria, flatworms, etc.
|Alagae, Plasmodium, Sporozoans, etc.
Definition of Binary Fission
The process of asexual reproduction, where the parent body gets separated or divides into two new bodies or cell, is known as binary fission. It is the primary method of reproduction in prokaryotes.
In the process of binary fission, the parent cell prepared itself by making a copy of their genetic material (Deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA) before getting divided. So, the nucleus which contains the genetic material replicates itself, by pulling the two nuclei to opposite poles.
Gradually, the cytoplasm also separates with the separation of the two nuclei and thus forming the two new daughter cell. In this way, the daughter cell receives the one copy of the genetic material of their parent cell.
Binary fission is the stable process, and genomes of the unicellular organism do not undergo mutations. There are four different types of binary fission observed in the unicellular organisms that are – Transverse, longitudinal, irregular and oblique.
When the division of cytoplasm (cytokinesis) occurs along the transverses axis is known as transverse binary fission. This type is generally seen in Paramecium (ciliated protozoans). In the longitudinal binary fission, the cytokinesis is held along the longitudinal axis of the cell and is usually seen in Euglena.
When the cytokinesis occurs along any plane or axis and is always perpendicular to the plane of the division of the nucleus of the cell is known as irregular binary fission, it is commonly observed in amoeba. When the cytokinesis follows the oblique pattern of division, it is known as oblique binary fission, and this is seen in Ceratium (dinoflagellates).
The process of binary fission occurs under favourable conditions, or the cell divides under the favourable conditions that include temperature, surroundings and the availability of nutrients.
Certain organisms that divide through binary fission include Euglena, Amoeba, Paramecium, Ceratium, Clostridium perfringens, Escherichia coli, Bacillus subtilis, B. cereus, Corynebacterium diphtheriae, etc.
Definition of Multiple Fission
Another type of asexual reproduction is the multiple fission where the organisms (parent cell) gives rise to numerous daughter cells instead of two.
Slime moulds (Myxomycetes) and some protozoans commonly divide by this process. Likewise, the mitotic division, the nucleus of the parent cell undergoes several divisions and produced the number of nuclei.
Simultaneously, after the division of the nucleus, the cytoplasm also starts separating and covers each nucleus individually within its membrane and therefore resulting in the formation of a new cell.
Key Differences Between Binary and Multiple Fission
Given below are the essential points to understand the difference between binary and multiple fission:
- When the parent cell divides only once in two equal parts and gives rise to the two daughter cell is known as binary fission. On the other hand, when the parent cell divides repeatedly and gives rise to numerous daughter cells, is known as multiple fission.
- The pattern of division in binary fission, nucleus as well as cytoplasm divides simultaneously, and there is a definite pattern of division. However, there is no cyst formed during division. On the contrary, in multiple fission, the nucleus divides and gets surrounded by cytoplasm, but there is no definite pattern of division though cyst or protective covering is formed during division.
- Binary fission occurs during favourable conditions, whereas multiple fission occurs during favourable as well as unfavourable conditions.
- Immortality is present in binary fission, though it is absent in multiple fission.
- Binary fission gives rise to the two daughter cells’ so two nuclei are formed from the parent cell, whereas multiple fission gives rise to numerous daughter cell, so multiple nuclei are formed from the parent cell.
- Binary fission occurs in organisms like Euglena, Amoeba, Protozoans, Bacteria, flatworms, etc.; whereas multiple fission occurs in organisms like Algae, Plasmodium, Sporozoans, etc.
- Both are types of asexual reproduction.
- These mechanisms occur from a single parent cell only.
As the process of mitosis that occurs in eukaryotes like humans, binary and multiple fission also happens in the same way, and before the division of the cell. The replica of genetic material is made. Although both the process get differ in their mechanism of producing offspring, where the one parent cell gives birth to only two daughter nuclei, whereas other types give rise to multiple nuclei.
We also get to know about organisms which follow such mechanisms. These are essential terms to understand the various forms and life and how they reproduce and give birth to their species.