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Cell Reproduction Resources


Cell reproduction is a process of cell division that divides one cell into two identical cells.  In multicellular organisms cell reproduction can be for growth, development or repair, whereas in single cell organisms it is a mechanism of reproduction.  The focus of this content is the cell cycle in eukaryotic cells, regulation of the cell cycle, and consequences of a lack of regulation in the context of cancer. A summary of binary fission in prokaryotic cells is also included.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the structure, function and reproduction of cells, including viruses and microorganisms.
  • Explain the basic structures and fundamental processes of life at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels. 
  • Describe the major steps in a typical eukaryote cell cycle, including the details of mitosis and cytokinesis.
  • Outline representative mechanisms that cells have evolved for communicating and coordinating their functions in a living organism.
  • Explain how cell regulatory mechanisms ensure balance in living systems that interact continuously with their environments.
  •  Apply knowledge of cellular regulatory mechanisms to explanations of aberrant cell behavior.
  •  Describe the structure, function and reproduction of cells, including viruses and microorganisms.  

Recommended Textbook Resources

Chapter 10: Cell ReproductionBiology 2e

OpenStax: Biology 2e

This chapter provides an overview of cell division with a focus on the cell cycle in eukaryotic cells. The stages of the cell cycle, including interphase, mitosis and cytokinesis, are covered and supported by discussion of regulatory mechanisms. Connections between cancer and the cell cycle are included along with an overview of cell division in prokaryotic cells.


Student Assessment Activities

Student Assessment Activities are below; instructors can also Download a Cellular Reproduction Student Activities Word File or View the Cellular Reproduction Student Activity Google Doc.

Project 1:

Review the information in Chapter 10.4, Cancer and the Cell Cycle with a focus on proto-oncogenes, oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes.   Listed below are three different tumor suppressor genes.  Choose one to research and answer the following questions.  

Tumor suppressor genes: p53, p21, Rb and APC

  1. Define proto-oncogene, oncogene and tumor suppressor gene.
  2. Explain the function of negative regulators in the cell cycle. 

(3) Explain the specific function of the tumor suppressor gene selected and how it relates to specific check points in the cell cycle.

Be sure to cite any source(s) of information other than the textbook. 

Project 2:

Review the information in Chapter 10.2 with a focus on cytokinesis in plant and animal cells and Chapter 10.5 focused on binary fission.  Compare the mechanisms by which separation of daughter cells occurs in (1) a plant cell, (2) an animal cell and (3) a bacterial cell. 

Project 3:

Calculate the time spent in cell-cycle stages by working in groups of three and completing the mitosis activity at: