Cell division is a process by which a cell, called the parent cell, divides into two cells, called daughter cells. Cell division is usually a small segment of a larger cell cycle. In meiosis however, a cell is permanently transformed and cannot divide again.
For simple unicellular organisms such as the Amoeba, one cell division reproduces an entire organism. On a larger scale, cell division can create progeny from multicellular organisms, such as plants that grow from cuttings. Cell division also enables sexually reproducing organisms to develop from the one-celled zygote, which itself was produced by cell division from gametes. And after growth, cell division allows for continual renewal and repair of the organism.
The primary concern of cell division is the maintenance of the original cell's genome. Before division can occur, the genomic information which is stored in chromosomes must be replicated, and the duplicated genome separated cleanly between cells. A great deal of cellular infrastructure is involved in keeping genomic information consistent between "generations".
Cells are classified into two categories: simple, non-nucleated prokaryotic cells, and complex, nucleated eukaryotic cells. By dint of their structural differences, eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells do not divide in the same way.
Furthermore, the pattern of cell division that transforms eukaryotic stem cells into gametes (sperm in males or ova in females) is different from that of eukaryotic somatic (non-germ) cells.