AQA A Level Biology

Revision Notes

2.3.4 Cytokinesis



  • Although not regarded as a phase of mitosis, cytokinesis is an important final step in the cell cycle because during this stage the cytoplasm is divides forming two genetically identical cells and it takes place after the telophase stage of mitosis
  • This is the physical separation of the parent cell into two genetically identical daughter cells and occurs once a new nucleus has completely re-formed at each pole of the parent cell at the end of telophase
  • The process differs slightly in animal and plant cells:
    • In animal cells, a ‘cleavage furrow’ forms and separates the daughter cells
    • In plants, a ‘cell plate’ (the precursor to a new cell wall) forms at the site of the metaphase plate. Once the cell plate reaches the cell walls of the parent cell, new cell walls are produced, separating the new daughter cells

Cytokinesis in animal and plant cell, downloadable AS & A Level Biology revision notes

Cytokinesis in an animal cell and a plant cell

Exam Tip

Remember cytokinesis is not a stage of mitosis, it is a process that occurs after mitosis!


Alistair graduated from Oxford University in 2014 with a degree in Biological Sciences. He has taught GCSE/IGCSE Biology, as well as Biology and Environmental Systems & Societies for the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme. While teaching in Oxford, Alistair completed his MA Education as Head of Department for Environmental Systems and Societies.

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