autotroph


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Related to autotroph: heterotroph

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 ?
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).
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.
Autotrophs, as you probably know, were among the first species of life on this planet and created their own food through photosynthesis, using sunlight to turn carbon dioxide and water into useful organic compounds such as sugars.
Because this pond was always nitrogen-limited, the Azolla, containing the nitrogen-fixing, symbiotic Anabaena would be able to compete better than other autotrophs.
Microalgae are among the fastest growing autotrophs on the earth, which are utilizing commonly available material for their growth.
been shown to prey on macroinvertebrates that feed upon aquatic autotrophs (e.
AUTOTROPHS 49 AEROBIC AND ANAEROBIC 49 FORECASTS 50 TABLE 8 TOTAL U.
According to nitrite oxidation activity, there was one isolate suspected as NOB which grown on autotrophs media.
ECM fungi are predominant in boreal ecosystems, where N and P are sequestered in organic forms that are not readily available to autotrophs and hence the dominant plant species are highly dependent on ectomycorrhizal symbionts for their nutrient supply and ECM fungi are known to produce a wide range of extracellular and cell wall bound hydrolytic and oxidative enzymes which degrade N and P- compounds contained in SOM, and more particularly in proteins, ligno-cellulose and polyphenol-protein complexes (Burke and Cairney, 2002; Leake et al.
Complex interactions between autotrophs in shallow marine and freshwater ecosystems: implications for community responses to nutrient stress.
The two key processes in this cycle, primary production and consumption of organic material, are usually considered as being performed by different groups of organisms, autotrophs and heterotrophs.
In the biological process, nitrogen removal is achieved through nitrification by autotrophs and denitrification by heterotrophs; i.