Difference Between Fragmentation and Regeneration

Fragmentation

Fragmentation is a form of asexual reproduction when an organism breaks into multiple fragments or smaller parts of itself. Each fragment results in the growth of a separate, individual and independent organism, which are clones of the parent organism. Fragmentation is a result of an organism breaking off from itself and is exhibited in certain plants, fungi, sea stars and annelid worms. 

Regeneration

Regeneration, on the other hand, is the process of partial or complete regrowth of tissues in an organism where there has been some damage. This means if an organism is split or broken into several pieces, each of its parts grows back to its original condition. 

There are specialized stem cells in certain organizations that are responsible for carrying out this procedure. A common example of the process of regeneration is house lizards growing back their tail after it has shed. 

Fragmentation v/s Regeneration 

The most important difference between fragmentation and regeneration is that, while the former process involves two different parts from one parent organism growing into complete individuals by themselves, the latter one is a more generic process involving regrowth. While limited species of organisms are capable of fragmentation, almost all species are capable of regeneration, atleast to a certain extent. 


Major Differences Between Fragmentation and Regeneration

Fragmentation

Regeneration

During the process of fragmentation, an organism splits into fragments and each of these fragments develops into individual organisms. 

During the process of regeneration, an organism regrows a particular body part in case there has been certain damage to it.

Each fragment forms into a new organism. 

There are no new organisms formed during this process. 

The process of fragmentation is only seen in organisms that have the same simple body organisation and are multi-cellular. 

The process of regeneration is seen in multi-cellular organisms that have complex body organisation. 

Fragmentation is only limited to certain organisms. 

Regeneration, however, is seen in all organisms either up to a certain extent or completely. 

This process does not involve the use of specialised cells. 

This process involves the use of specialised cells in proliferating and forming a cell cluster, which then proceeds to form various other kinds of cells and tissues. 

Fragmentation is only seen in invertebrates. 

Regeneration is seen both in vertebrates and invertebrates. 

Fragmentation is a process of reproduction (asexual).

Regeneration is a process of reproduction as well as regeneration of lost body parts, tissues or cells. 

This process is generally seen in plants, especially non-vascular ones. 

This process is generally seen in animals as compared to plants. 

Fragmentation is highly dependent on the structural complexity of an organism and can occur as a natural process or may result from the action of a predator.

Regeneration is seen across all living organisms and is mostly the result of an action or damage to the concerned body part. 

Organisms like sea anemones, sponges and flatworms undergo the process of fragmentation. 

The tail of a lizard, limbs of an octopus or regrowth of blood vessels in humans are some instances of regeneration. 

 

Fragmentation in Various Organisms

A common method of asexual reproduction in many organisms- fragmentation occurs across various fungi, cyanobacteria, certain plants and some animals including sponges, sea stars and more. 

  • Fragmentation in Plants

Fragmentation is a common form of vegetative or asexual reproduction in plants, which occurs mostly when a rooted shoot gets detached from the main plant. 

 

Sometimes, plants also form plantlets on the leaves; later on, which get detached to become independent plants. Organs like bulbils and turions are produced in other plants as well. 

The method of fragmentation is fairly common in non-vascular plants, including various kinds of mosses. Fragments are often carried off by water, air or other external sources, which on reaching a friendly and suitable environment for growth, root themselves and become a new plant. 

Apart from the natural method of asexual reproduction in plants, fragmentation is also used by humans to propagate growth or multiplication. This involves various artificial methods of cutting, grafting, layering and division by the use of organs like rhizomes, corms and tubers.

  • Fragmentation in Animals

Fragmentation in animals like sponges, various annelids or flatworms is a natural process of reproduction. 

However, fragmentation in animals may happen in two kinds- architomy and paratomy. 

Architomy is when an organism fragments into two and both of the fragments have their organs and tissues independently. 

In case of paratomy, the fragmentation takes place in a more perpendicular format for both the fragments to develop as individual organisms in a head to tail manner, while aligning their body axis.

Regeneration in Various Organisms

Regeneration is an ability that allows animals and plants to repair or restore complete body parts, organs, cells or tissues that are missing or have been damaged. 

The process of regeneration occurs among various organisms in different ways; while certain plants and animals like jellyfish replace missing body parts but remodelling their remaining tissues, other animals like lizards replace missing body parts by growing a blastema- specialised bud of cells, which rapidly divide to recreate the damaged or missing body part. 

Another process of regeneration involves the method of compensatory hypertrophy- the method that human organs like the liver, undergo. In this process, when a certain part of an organ is destroyed, the remaining part eventually grows to its original size and ensures that the organ functions normally. 

Conclusion

While fragmentation is the process of asexual reproduction where each fragment grows to become an individual organism, regeneration is the process when an organism regrows or regenerates a lost body part.