autotroph

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autotroph

(ôt`ətrōf'), in biology, an organism capable of synthesizing its own organic substances from inorganic compounds. Autotrophs produce their own sugars, lipids, and amino acids using carbon dioxide as a source of carbon, and ammonia or nitrates as a source of nitrogen. Organisms that use light for the energy to synthesize organic compounds are called photosynthetic autotrophs; organisms that oxidize such compounds as hydrogen sulfide (H2S) to obtain energy are called chemosynthetic autotrophs, or chemotrophs. Photosynthetic autotrophs include the green plants, certain algae, and the pigmented sulfur bacteria (see photosynthesisphotosynthesis
, process in which green plants, algae, and cyanobacteria utilize the energy of sunlight to manufacture carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water in the presence of chlorophyll. Some of the plants that lack chlorophyll, e.g.
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). Chemotrophs include the iron bacteria, the nitrifying bacteria, and the nonpigmented sulfur bacteria (see chemosynthesischemosynthesis,
process in which carbohydrates are manufactured from carbon dioxide and water using chemical nutrients as the energy source, rather than the sunlight used for energy in photosynthesis. Most life on earth is fueled directly or indirectly by sunlight.
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). Heterotrophsheterotroph
, living organism that obtains its energy from carbohydrates and other organic material. All animals and most bacteria and fungi are heterotrophic. In contrast, autotrophs are organisms that use inorganic substances as energy sources and carbon dioxide as a carbon source.
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 are organisms that must obtain their energy from organic compounds.

autotroph

[′ȯd·ō‚träf]
(biology)
An organism capable of synthesizing organic nutrients directly from simple inorganic substances, such as carbon dioxide and inorganic nitrogen.
References in periodicals archive ?
Heterotrophs, however, may have evolved from autotrophs, so the line 'autotrophs began to drool' could be taken as a poetic way of saying that autotrophs evolved into heterotrophs, with the ability not only to use external food sources, but to drool at the prospect of eating them.
Yet many believe that heterotrophs evolved before autotrophs, which makes the autotroph drooling even harden to justify.
Therefore, open water algae can be the primary autotroph contributing to the wetland's energy flow.
jannaschii is the first autotroph whose genome has been sequenced.
Because this pond was always nitrogen-limited, the Azolla, containing the nitrogen-fixing, symbiotic Anabaena would be able to compete better than other autotrophs.
To survive, you either eat something an autotroph made (carrots, corn, apples), or you eat something that once ate autotrophs (a hamburger was once chomping on grass all day long).
They were all produced by autotrophs but are no longer part of any living organism for a variety of reasons.
Excessive concentrations of P is a common cause of eutrophication of freshwater leading to over abundance of autotrophs especially algae and cyanobacteria (Correll 1998).
Two major groups of microbes in the ocean play essential roles in transforming carbon compounds and moving them from the surface ocean to the deep ocean: autotrophs such as phytoplankton, which produce organic carbon compounds, and heterotrophs such as bacteria, which recycle already-made organic carbon.
A key to my research is that autotrophs and heterotrophs each prefer to use a different form of carbon.
diversity and production of autotrophs directly affect the aquatic
Laboratory microcosms permit the necessary control over food web structure and the necessary number of generations required to test explicit hypotheses of facilitation and competition between autotrophs and heterotrophs.