Difference Between Binary Fission and Budding

Main Difference – Binary Fission vs Budding

Binary fission and budding are two variations of asexual reproduction found in bacteria and fungi, respectively. Binary fission is mostly found in prokaryotes. Budding is found in eukaryotes. The main difference between binary fission and budding is that during binary fission, parent organism is divided into two daughter organisms by evenly separating the cytoplasm whereas, during budding, a new organism is formed from the existing organism by sprouting out

This article looks at, 

1. What is Binary Fission
      – Mechanism, Characteristics, Types
2. What is Budding
      – Mechanism, Characteristics, Examples
3. What is the difference between Binary Fission and Budding

Difference Between Binary Fission and Budding - Comparison Summary

What is Binary Fission

The division of a single organism into two daughter organisms is referred to as binary fission. Generally, prokaryotes like bacteria and archaea exhibit binary fission as the cell division mechanism of asexual reproduction. Eukaryotic organelles like mitochondria also exhibit binary fission by increasing the number of organelles inside the cell.

Mechanism of Binary Fission

DNA replication is the first event that occurs during binary fission. The single, circular chromosome of bacteria, which is tightly coiled prior to the replication becomes uncoiled and undergoes replication. Two replicated chromosomes move to the opposite poles. Then the cell increases its length. All the components like ribosomes and plasmids increase their number. The equatorial plate constricts in order to separate the plasma membrane. A new cell wall forms between the separated cells. The division of the cytoplasm is known as cytokinesis. The two newly formed cells contain an approximately equal number of ribosomes, plasmids and other components of the cytoplasm. The volume of the cytoplasm is also approximately equal.

Difference Between Binary Fission and Budding

Figure 1: Binary Fission

Four Types of Binary Fission

Irregular Binary Fission

Cytokinesis takes place in the perpendicular plane to the plane in which karyokinesis has taken place. It can be observed in ameba.

Longitudinal Binary Fission

Cytokinesis takes place along the longitudinal axis. This occurs in Euglena.

Transverse Binary Fission

Cytokinesis takes place along the transverse axis. It occurs in paramecium like protozoans.

Oblique Binary Fission

Oblique cytokinesis occurs as in ceratium.

Binary fission is considered a raid process. Typically, an E. coli cell at 37 °C divides every 20 minutes. The whole bacterial culture undergoes binary fission. Hence, the time taken by one cycle is referred to as the doubling time. Some strains like Mycobacterium tuberculosis consist of a slow doubling time compared to E. coli.

What is Budding

Budding is a mechanism used in the asexual reproduction of yeast by forming a bud-like outgrowth. The bud is attached to the parent organism until it grows and separates from it when matured. The new organism is genetically identical clone to the parent organism. The baking yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae produces a mother cell and a small daughter cell by asymmetric budding. Asexual reproduction of yeast by budding is shown in figure 2.

Difference Between Binary Fission and Budding - 2

Figure 2: Budding in Saccharomyces cerevisiae

Metazoans like hydra develop bud-like outgrowths through a repeated cell division at a specific site. Buds are developed as tiny individuals, and when matured, they detach from the parent to grow as independent individual organisms. A Hydra with two buds is shown in figure 3.

Main Difference - Binary Fission vs Budding

Figure 3: Hydra with two buds

Parasites like Toxoplasma gondii asexually reproduce through internal budding. They develop two daughter cells by endodyogeny. Endopolygeny is the production of multiple organisms by internal budding. In viruses, viral shedding is a form of budding. In horticulture, grafting a bud of one plant to another plant is referred to as budding.

Difference Between Binary Fission and Budding


Binary Fission: The division of a single organism into two daughter organisms is referred to as binary fission.

Budding: The formation of a new organism through a bud from the parent organism is referred to as budding.

Type of Division

Binary Fission: Binary fission is a type of fission.

Budding: Budding is a type of vegetative propagation.

Parent Organism

Binary Fission: Parent organism is divided into two daughter organisms. Thus, no parent can be identified after the division.

Budding: The bud is developed from the parent organism. After detaching of the new organism from the parent, the parent organism remains the same.

Symmetric/Asymmetric Division

Binary Fission: Binary fission is a symmetric division.

Budding: Budding is an asymmetric division.


Binary Fission: Binary fission is mostly found in bacteria and archaea.

Budding: Budding is found in parasites, fungi, plants and metazoans like animals.

Artificial Induction

Binary Fission: Binary fission is a natural process. It can not be induced artificially.

Budding: Budding can be induced artificially.


Binary fission and budding are two asexual reproduction methods found in simple organisms. Binary fission is a type of fission and budding is a type of asexual propagation. Binary fission mostly occurs in prokaryotes like bacteria. Budding can be observed in fungi, plants, animals like metazoans and parasites. During binary fission, a symmetrical division of parent cytoplasm between two daughter cells can be identified. During budding, a small portion of the parent cytoplasm is separated as the new organism. Therefore, the main difference between binary fission and budding is in the cytoplasmic division.

1. “Fission (biology).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 17 Mar. 2017. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.
2. “Budding.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 15 Mar. 2017. Web. 19 Mar. 2017.

Image Courtesy:
1. “Binary fission” By Drawn by w:User:JWSchmidt (w:Image:png); vectorized by w:User:JTojnar –     via
2. “S cerevisiae under DIC microscopy” By Masur – Own work (Public Domain) via
3. “Hydra oligactis” By Lifetrance at en.wikipedia via

About the Author: Lakna

Lakna, a graduate in Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, is a Molecular Biologist and has a broad and keen interest in the discovery of nature related things

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