Difference Between Binary Fission and Multiple Fission (With Table)

Binary Fission vs Multiple Fission

Living things produce offspring through two processes – sexual reproduction and asexual reproduction. In sexual reproduction, two parents (one male and one female) come together to produce offspring. In asexual reproduction, only one parent produces offspring.

Asexual reproduction takes place in different ways, one of which is fission. Fission is the division of a parent unicellular organism to form two or more daughter organisms. There are two types of fission – binary fission and multiple fission.

The key difference between binary fission and multiple fission is that while in binary fission, a parent cell divides into two equal and identical daughter cells, in multiple fission, a single parent cell divides into many daughter cells.


 

Comparison Table Between Binary Fission and Multiple Fission (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonBinary FissionMultiple Fission
Number of nuclei formed from parent nucleus2 nucleiMany nuclei
Number of daughter cells formed from parent cell2 daughter cellsMany daughter cells
Occurrence during favorable or unfavorable conditionsOccurs only during favorable conditionsCan occur in favorable and unfavorable conditions
Formation of cyst or protective coat during divisionThis does not occurThis can occur
Parent cell breaks to release daughter cellsThis does not occurThis can occur
Number of divisionsOne divisionMultiple divisions
Timing of division of nucleus and cytoplasmDivision of nucleus and cytoplasm occur simultaneouslyNuclear division occurs first; cytoplasmic division occurs later
Pattern of divisionThis follows a definite pattern of divisionThis does not follow any definite pattern of division
Examples of organismsAmoeba, bacteria, EuglenaPlasmodium, sporozoans, algae

 

What is Binary Fission?

Binary fission is an asexual form of reproduction in which a unicellular organism splits into two identical daughter cells.

In this process, the nucleus of a single-celled organism will first replicate itself. Each of the two nuclei will then be pulled to opposite poles of the unicellular organism.

The organism will begin to pull apart, and in the process, further separate the two nuclei, to form two daughter cells that will grow up to the size of the parent cell.

The daughter cells formed through binary fission are genetically identical to the parent organism and to themselves.

This is because binary fission is a stable process, and the unicellular organisms have such small genomes that hardly experience mutations.

The division of the cytoplasm of the parent cell can take place in either of four different ways:

  • Irregular: Here, the cytoplasm divides along any axis but is always perpendicular to the axis of the division of the cell’s nucleus. An example of an organism that divides in this fashion is an amoeba.
  • Longitudinal: Here, the cytoplasm divides along a longitudinal axis. An example of an organism that divides in this fashion is the flagellate,
  • Transverse: Here, the cytoplasm divides along a transverse axis. An example of an organism that divides in this fashion is the ciliate protozoan,
  • Oblique (left oblique and right oblique): Here, the cytoplasm divides obliquely. An example of an organism that divides in this fashion is
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Binary fission does not take place unless the surrounding conditions are favorable for the cell to reproduce. This may include the right temperature and the availability of nutrients.

The organisms that reproduce through binary fission include prokaryotes and bacteria. Some flatworms, like planaria, reproduce sexually but can also reproduce through binary fission under certain conditions.

There are also some organelles in eukaryotic cells that replicate themselves through binary fission. These include mitochondria and chloroplasts. These organelles go through binary fission first before cell mitosis takes place.

How does Binary Fission happen
 

What is Multiple Fission?

Multiple fission is also an asexual form of reproduction in which a unicellular organism splits into many (more than two) daughter cells.

In this process, the nucleus of the unicellular organism divides repeatedly into several nuclei within the cell. The cytoplasm of the organism will then separate into many daughter cells with each cell containing one nucleus.

As it is in binary fission, multiple fission gives rise to daughter cells that are identical to the parent cell and to themselves.

The division that occurs in multiple fission does not follow any definite pattern.

Also, unlike organisms that reproduce through binary fission, unicellular organisms that reproduce through multiple fission are capable of reproducing in unfavorable conditions.

The organisms that reproduce through multiple fission include many protists such as sporozoans and algae and some parasitic, single-celled organisms like Plasmodium.

How does Multiple Fission happens

Main Differences Between Binary Fission and Multiple Fission

  1. Binary fission involves the splitting of a parent cell into two identical daughter cells while multiple fission involves the splitting of a parent cell into many daughter cells.
  2. In binary fission, one nucleus splits into two nuclei only. In multiple fission, one nucleus splits into multiple nuclei.
  3. While binary fission only takes place during favorable conditions, organisms going through multiple fission can reproduce during unfavorable conditions as well.
  4. The division of a cell undergoing binary fission occurs only once, giving rise to two daughter cells. The division of a cell undergoing multiple fission occurs repeatedly, giving rise to many daughter cells.
  5. In binary fission, the nucleus and the cytoplasm of the parent cell divide at the same time. In multiple fission, the nucleus of the parent cell first divides into several nuclei, which are surrounded by cytoplasm. Later, the cytoplasm of the parent cell is cleaved into several daughter cells, each containing one nucleus.
  6. During unfavorable conditions, a unicellular organism undergoing multiple fission can form a cyst or a protective coat around itself. It will go through the processes of nuclear and cytoplasmic division within the cyst and later release the daughter cells. This process does not occur in organisms going through binary fission.
  7. In multiple fission, the parent cell can break away, releasing daughter cells. This process also does not occur in organisms going through binary fission.
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How to Remember the Difference Between Binary Fission and Multiple Fission

Time Needed : 2 minutes

Remembering the differences is very simple, just follow our mind mapping guide given below:

  1. Associate the first word with a thing or item which you see daily

    For e.g.: Middle line in letter H for Horizontal.

  2. Associate the second word with a thing or item which you see daily

    For e.g.: The two lines in letter V for Vertical.

  3. Recall the two words daily two times

    During morning and evening bring up the two words in front of you and then recall the things that you had associated with each word.

  4. Repeat for 7 days

    Repeating this process for a week will help you remember the difference between words for a long time.


 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Binary Fission and Multiple Fission

  1. What is the difference between fission and fragmentation?

    Fission refers to the parent cell, which divides and reproduces two or more parts into the daughter cell.

    On the other hand, fragmentation refers to the parent organism reproduction, which divides into fragments and is capable of becoming a new organism.

    Fission appears in unicellular organisms, but fragmentation appears in multicellular organisms.

    Examples:
    a) Fission: Bacteria, Amoeba, Algae, Protists.
    b) Fragmentation: Spirogyra, Plants, Molds, Annelids.

  2. What is the first step of binary fission?

    The very first step in binary fission is genetic material duplicates, which form a new cell the same as the other.

  3. What are the stages of binary fission?

    a) Chromosome replication: A circular chromosome is uncoiled to generate a new chromosome.

    b) Cell growth: After chromosome replication, the cell starts to grow for binary fission.

    c) Chromosome segregation: It produces a septum in the middle of the chromosomes and is ready to separate.

    d) Cell splitting: A new cell wall is generated, which separates the chromosomes completely. After the division, two new daughter cells are formed.

  4. How do bacteria reproduce by binary fission?

    The bacterial chromosome opens the origin of replication, and the DNA of replication begins. The DNA is copied, and the cells start to elongate.

    When the DNA is copied and starts growing, the septum takes place in the middle of the two cells. After septum, both the cells are divided, and two new bacteria are formed.

  5. What is an example of multiple fission?

    Multiple fission is a process where a nucleus of the parent cell generates several nuclei by dividing itself. Unlike binary fission, which only splits into two cells, multiple fission divides into many cells.

    The examples of multiple fission are algae, protozoa, Chlamydomonas, malaria parasite, etc.

  6. How does multiple fission occur?

    Multiple fission is a method where a parent cell produces a large number of individuals. Multiple fission occurs when the nucleus separates itself in the cyst for producing more than two daughter nuclei.

    Every single nucleus gathers cytoplasm covering them and forms a membrane around each cell. Hence, many daughter cells are produced, and on liberation, they become individual adult organisms.

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Infographic

Binary Fission vs Multiple Fission

 

Learn More With the Help of Video


 

Conclusion

Binary fission and multiple fission are both asexual means of reproduction which are used by many unicellular organisms including bacteria, protists, and parasites. In both processes, only one parent is involved in producing offspring.

The main difference between binary fission and multiple fission is that binary fission leads to the formation of only two daughter cells while multiple fission leads to the formation of many daughter cells.

Binary fission only occurs under favorable conditions. Here, the parent cell undergoes the process of division only once.

The nucleus and cytoplasm are divided at the same time to produce two daughter cells, each containing one of the two new nuclei.

The new daughter cells are identical to the parent cell and to each other.

Multiple fission can occur in both favorable and unfavorable conditions.

As opposed to binary fission, nuclear and cytoplasmic division do not occur simultaneously. The parent cell first replicates its nucleus several times to form several nuclei that are surrounded by cytoplasm.

After this, the cytoplasm is cleaved into several daughter cells each containing one nucleus.


 

Word Cloud for Difference Between Binary Fission and Multiple Fission

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Binary Fission and Multiple Fission. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

Word Cloud for Binary Fission and Multiple Fission

 

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fission_(biology)
  2. http://eschooltoday.com/science/asexual-reproduction/what-is-binary-fission.html
  3. https://biologydictionary.net/binary-fission/
  4. https://sciencing.com/planaria-life-cycle-5241197.html
  5. https://school.gradeup.co/what-is-multiple-fission-how-does-it-occur-in-an-organism-i-1nk38b

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