Difference Between Fragmentation and Regeneration

By Ritika Pant|Updated : January 20th, 2023

The primary difference between fragmentation and regeneration lies within their names. Fragmentation is where an organism splits into fragments, each growing into a new individual. On the other hand, regeneration (re + generate) causes certain body parts, for example, a limb of an organism, to regrow when it gets lost.

Difference Between Fragmentation and Regeneration PDF

Fragmentation is visible in nonvascular plants only. Regeneration mostly occurs in animals and not plants. Read till the end to learn the difference between fragmentation and regeneration and understand which organisms follow such reproduction processes to multiply.

Table of Content

Difference between Fragmentation and Regeneration

The key difference between fragmentation and regeneration is that fragmentation involves the splitting of fragments of an organism which ultimately creates a new organism.

  • This process, as a method of asexual reproduction, has both advantages and disadvantages.
  • Whereas regeneration is repairing the cells, organs, tissue, etc.

Regeneration vs Fragmentation

To study the complete mechanism and difference between fragmentation and regeneration, you should check the table below.

Difference Between Regeneration and Fragmentation

Fragmentation

Regeneration

Each fragment that breaks can grow into a new organism.

The process occurs when an organism’s lost limb or body part regrows whenever it gets cut off.

A completely new organism arises from each broken fragment.

No new organism is developed; only a part of the existing organism grows.

Few organisms can break fragments of their body and create new organisms.

All organisms show their regeneration capability to only some extent.

This process is possible only in those organisms which have a simple body structure and are unicellular.

This form of reproduction occurs only in organisms having complex body structures and being multicellular.

Fragmentation does not utilize specialized cells to multiply.

The process needs a special set of cells to regrow a body part that helps in the proliferation and formation of a cluster of cells.

This ultimately creates a different combination of cells required for growth.

Only observed in invertebrates.

This type of reproduction is seen in invertebrates along with vertebrates.

The process can occur naturally or due to the predator’s activity because it highly depends upon the complexity of the structure of an organism.

This reproduction is visible in almost all living creatures and results from damage to any specific body part.

Examples of fragmentation include parasite-like sponges and platyhelminth-like flatworms.

Some regeneration illustrations are:

The lizard’s tail (Please note If lizards lose their hindlimb or forelimb, the regrowing process does not occur)

Octopi arms

Regrowth of human blood vessels

Fragmentation and Regeneration

In this portion, you will learn the major differences between regeneration and fragmentation in diverse organisms. Requires only one parent, both male and female, is not required for this reproduction process.

The cycle is easily accomplished, starting from the parent’s organism body which forms pieces, grows, and transforms finally into a new organism.

Fragmentation in Plants and Animals

Fragmentation occurs in fungi, cyanobacteria, sponges, sea stars, and plants. In plants, fragments get carried away by natural sources like air, water, etc., which land in a suitable environment and grow into a new sapling.

Benefits of Fragmentation

  • The method of reproduction completes in a very short period of time.
  • Being an asexual reproduction process occurs too fast.
  • An entirely new era of similar organisms is being formed from only one single parent.
  • This form of reproduction can take place in any climatic conditions and habitat.

Fragmentation in Plants

  • Vegetative or asexual reproduction is a form of fragmentation that occurs in plants.
  • Plants form young seedlings on the leaves, which get separated to become self-dependent plants, for example, organs like turions and bulbils.
  • The method is common in plants that lack blood vessels or are nonvascular, including mosses varieties.
  • It also occurs artificially by methods like layering, cutting, grafting, and division using organs like tubers, rhizomes, and corms.

Fragmentation in Animals

  • Take place naturally in annelids, flatworms, and sponges.
  • It is of two types Paratomy and Architomy.
  • During Architomy, fragments of an organism split into 2 parts, and both have their own tissues and organ system.
  • In Paratomy, two fragments grow as separate organisms positioning their body direction in a head-to-tail manner.

Regeneration in Plants and Animals

Restore or repair complete body parts, organs, cells, or tissues lost or injured. Jellyfish replace missing body parts but reconstructing their remaining tissues. Some, like lizards, replace missing body parts by growing specialized buds of cells known as blastema.

  • One process is compensatory hypertrophy.
  • For example, the liver of a human.
  • If a specific organ’s part gets eliminated, the leftover part develops to its actual size so that there is no interference in the functioning of the organ.

Similarities between Fragmentation and Regeneration

Though the main similarity between these two processes is that they are a part of reproduction, variation arises in how the process occurs in any organism. The main disadvantage of fragmentation is that it results in biodiversity loss as the same individual copies are produced.

  • The gene variation does not occur in fragmentation, but in regeneration, it does.
  • A similar type of gene quality, and features, of a parent are developed in the offspring.
  • All the copies of the parent would inherit the same weaknesses.
  • For instance, if a parent organism is dealing with a disorder, the same will be transferred to the new generation.

Conclusion:

Key Difference Between Fragmentation and Regeneration

The Key Difference Between Fragmentation and Regeneration is that Fragmentation is the process of breaking down of an organism into various fragments, while Regeneration is the process wherein damaged or missing cells get restored or replaced and generate a new body part.

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FAQs on Difference Between Fragmentation and Regeneration

  • Fragmentation is a reproduction method where one parent is involved, and a new individual is formed from the fragments of that parent individual.

    • But, in regeneration, only a certain part of the organism's body regrows itself.
    • It is a recovery process for an individual to grow lost or damaged body parts.
  • Fragmentation is a part of asexual reproduction in which an organism divides itself into fragments, intentionally or unintentionally, resulting in the formation of a new organism. The pivotal difference between fragmentation and regeneration is that the fragmentation reproduction process mainly occurs in unicellular organisms.

  • The most prominent examples of fragmentation and regeneration are:

    • Fragmentation occurs in - Sea anemones, sponges, and flatworms. 
    • Regeneration occurs in - The tail of a lizard, the limbs of an octopus, or the regrowth of blood vessels in humans.
  • Fragmentation and Regeneration processes are not the same but are part of reproduction procedures. A new organism is formed in fragmentation, whereas no new organism is produced in regeneration.

  • The disadvantage of fragmentation over regeneration is that all the copies of the parent would inherit the same cons.

    • For instance, if a parent organism is dealing with a disorder, the same will be transferred to the new generation.
    • Yielding duplicate copies will increase the struggle for survival of the particular species in case of extreme changes in surroundings.
    • In this case, sexual reproduction is more reliable as it creates diversification and genetic variation.
  • Regeneration is a type of reproduction method that involves the regrowth of a body part of an organism.

    • The most common example of regeneration is a lizard's tail that grows again when it breaks or gets damaged.
    • Only certain body parts have the ability to regenerate in specific organisms.
  • The main difference between regeneration and fragmentation is that regeneration only results in growing one part of the body of an already existing organism, wherein fragmentation causes the organism to split into various fragments, which eventually grow into a new individual.

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