Cell Plate: Definition & Formation

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  • 0:00 Cell Division
  • 1:14 Cytokinesis
  • 1:57 How the Cell Plate Forms
  • 2:54 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Jeremy Battista
During the process of cell division, the cell goes through a number of different phases. In one of these phases, we notice a cell plate formation that only occurs in certain cells. We'll examine that cell plate further in this lesson.

Cell Division

In both plants and animals, we see two processes that can be called cell division. First is mitosis, where the cell duplicates and divides, allowing for two identical cells to form. Second is meiosis, where gametes (sex cells) are formed. This is further divided into meiosis I and II. In meiosis I, identical cells are formed, then in meiosis II we see haploid cells formed (with half the chromosomal count), allowing for procreation.

Ultimately, in each type of cell division, we see the same basic steps. Even with regards to meiosis II, the same steps are taken -- just with some slight differences. So for this lesson we will be referring to mitosis, meiosis I and meiosis II as just cell division. Cell division is simply where one cell divides into two.

A number of complex things happen during each phase of cell division. The phases move in this sequence:

  • Interphase
  • Prophase
  • Prometaphase
  • Metaphase
  • Anaphase
  • Telophase
  • Cytokinesis(which occurs during telophase)

For our purposes here, we'll be focusing on the cytokinesis portion, as this is where we'll find the cell plate.


Cytokinesis can simply be described as the point where the cell is essentially done replicating (copying) and moving things around and is ready to cleave in two. Cytokinesis is when the cytoplasm divides and leaves you with two daughter cells. It is the physical division part of cell division.

During this time, in animal cells, a cleavage furrow (think of a small valley) forms, and actin and myosin filaments (protein filaments) squeeze together, cutting the cell in two. In plants, something different happens to cause the division; a cell plate forms. It is along the cell plate that we see the final physical cell division. The cell plate then becomes the cell wall of the two cells.

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