Talk:Fission (biology)

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It doesn't seem quite accurate that binary fission is restricted to prokaryotes. For instance different species of yeast reproduce by binary fission or by budding (see the wiki article on yeast). There is certainly a distinction to be made between cell division and reproduction but since this is an article about binary fission in general, it probably should not be restricted to prokaryotes. For instance, the animation that was removed would be perfectly acceptable if it was made clear that it showed eukaryotic binary fission. If previous editors have any comments, I'd love to hear them before starting to make changes.

Blindrhino (talk) 23:42, 3 December 2008 (UTC)


"In biology, binary fission is the asexual reproductive process used by prokaryotes."

What is binary fission in things other than biology?

See Wikipedia:Reference desk. -- Cyan 02:19, 14 Oct 2003 (UTC)

Shouldn't this be merged with mitosis? Mdmcginn 17:25, 14 June 2007 (UTC)
I think it should be! Troop350 17:47, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

I don't, because Eukaryotes and prokaryotes devide differently. I think that Mitosis and Fission should be two seperate articles.

I agree. Mitosis is quite different. --agr 22:47, 3 November 2007 (UTC)

Yes it is very different

Someone needs to clean all of the eukaryotes out of this article[edit]

Binary fission is a process of cell-division and reproduction used by prokaryotes, organisms that lack a nucleus. The processes used by eukaryotes are mitosis and cytokinesis. Past editors of this article have apparently confused binary fission with cytokinesis. I've made a small start, and I'll probably come back to this, but the distinction needs to be clearly drawn so people don't add back all this stuff about protozoans and sea anemones undergoing binary fission. --arkuat (talk) 09:48, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

I've done a little bit of cleaning up, but now have run into the lovely but incorrect animation at Binary fission#Process. It's simple and well-intentioned and effective and I hate to remove it, but it's wrong: the chromosome depicted is a eukaryotic chromosome, not the simpler circular DNA loop of the prokaryote, which is what you expect to see participating in binary fission. Creating or even editing animations would be a new skill-set for me, so I'm posting this here while I chew over whether or not I ought to unlink this lovely but misleading animation. --arkuat (talk) 06:36, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

What is really frustrating about [1] is that it is correct, simple, and informative in every detail but one: the shape of the prokaryotic chromosome, the nucleoid. If I hadn't just needed to hose this article down for any confusion of eukaryotic mitosis/cytokinesis with prokaryotic binary fission, I wouldn't be so sensitive to the point. Rather than that X-shaped eukaryotic thing, it needs to show a circular double-helix of DNA unwinding into two single-helix circles of DNA. Not at any great level of detail, just two circles separating from one another would be a great improvement. I love how the animator has correctly shown the attachment of the divided nucleoids to the cell wall before final cell division. That part is right, and please keep it! --arkuat (talk) 06:50, 24 June 2008 (UTC)

Someone just emailed me about this image and mistake, and I uploaded a slight reworking. Feel free to hunt me down if I neglect to check the talk pages as often as I would like to. Zab (talk) 10:21, 31 March 2009 (UTC)

I've been teaching biology (Ph.D. in microbiology) for 24 years and I have never seen binary fission restricted to just prokaryotes. I am not saying it is wrong, but I would like to see some definitive references. For example, Prescott, Harley, and Klein define it as "Asexual reproduction in which a cell or organism separates into two. February 2012 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:39, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Removed confusing text: might be useful elsewhere[edit]

Types of binary fission

Binary fission is mainly of three types with regard to the plane of division:

  1. Irregular binary fission: Occurs in amoebae. The plane of division of cytoplasm varies but is always at right angles to the elongated dividing nucleus.
  2. Longitudinal binary fission: Occurs in flagellates such as Euglena. The cytoplasm splits lengthwise, from forward to backward, forming two similar daughter individuals.
  3. Transverse binary fission: Occurs in ciliates such as paramecium. The cytoplasm divides transversely between two sets of nuclei, forming two dissimilar individuals. This is called bacterial fission.

This is interesting and possibly truthy, but has to do with eukaryotes and not with the sort of organisms or organelles that reproduce via binary fission.


Bacterial DNA has a relatively high mutation rate. This rapid rate of genetic change is what makes bacteria capable of developing resistance to antibiotics and helps them exploit invasion into a wide range of environments.

This is also interesting and true, but doesn't really belong in an article about binary fission. --arkuat (talk) 10:33, 28 June 2008 (UTC)


The illustration at the head of the article is okay, but is frustrating in a way similar to the animation discussed above. The lead illustration confusingly mentions cytokinesis, a term which is usually restricted to eukaryotic cell division, and not ordinarily used of prokaryotes. --arkuat (talk) 08:09, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Binary Fission![edit]

Hello isn't binary fission just a form of asexual reproduction by which some single celled organisms reproduce. The genetic material is copied, and one cell divides into two individual cells that are each a copy of the original cell. Like Prokaryotes as bacteria reproduce by binary fission. I mean I am only 12, but that is what I was thought, and you guys are probably 4 * smarter than me but that's what I thought.

dont think like that —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:15, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

Binary fission is just a form of asexual reproduction. Hence, I am taking initiative and will be removing this page and redirecting traffic to fission (biology).Thompsma (talk) 21:14, 15 December 2010 (UTC)


This article states:

The consequence of this asexual method of reproduction is that all the cells are genetically identical, meaning that they have the same genetic material.

This can't be absolutely true, can it? How does a prokaryote evolve? Perhaps this article should only claim "genetically identical" if also qualifying it with a statement indicating that there's always a chance for subtle mutations to occur, and providing a link to an article on evolution. Thoughts? Dave Sexton (talk) 19:16, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

it can modify over the course of its lifetime rather than at the moment of creation, in the context of this article via binary fission weekeepeer (talk) 22:49, 28 October 2015 (UTC)


Someone please clarify / link what "spindles" refer to weekeepeer. (talk) 22:49, 28 October 2015 (UTC)

Applicable Context[edit]

It appears highly misleading that "binary fission" is to apply not only to a single cell but to any of "body, population, or species" alike. This makes for an abysmally broad range of contexts! Either we're talking about single cells and how they reproduce or we are talking about entire organisms, groups of organisms or even biologically distinct organisms. However, we CANNOT be talking about all at once! Otherwise, separate all this mess into individual topics. weekeepeer (talk) 22:56, 28 October 2015 (UTC) I had ice cream from your dad's hotdog — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:10, 21 January 2016 (UTC)