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 ?
We feed different organic carbon compounds obtained from these autotrophic cultures to cultures of different marine heterotrophic bacteria, then measure changes in the heterotrophs' growth rates.
1) supports the hypothesis of Henderson (1920) who suggested that these plants represent the end products of autotrophic members of Ericaceae and that of Furman and Trappe (1971) who considered them occupants of an advanced stage of evolution.
Autotrophic bacteria use inorganic carbon from the bicarbonate ion (HC[O.
If primary productivity exceeds respiration, the system is autotrophic and internal production of organic matter dominates.
Normally, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is formed in the rumen as an intermediate product in the biohydrogenation to by which autotrophic bacteria utilize dietary fatty acids (Hazlewood and Dawson, 1979).
1998) and Hoffman and Schrag (2000) propose a runaway albedo mechanism for initiating Snowball glaciation, where extreme cold and thick sea ice shut down all hydrological activity and chemical weathering such that marine autotrophic activity and organic carbon burial would cease.
These compounds, which form an essential link in the chemical chain reactions of life, are created by autotrophic organisms--plants--that gather carbon and energy from the environment, carbon from carbon dioxide, and energy from sunlight.
The most commonly used process for nitrogen removal is biological nitrification--denitrification, carried out mainly by autotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria, respectively.
Heterotrophic, autotrophic, and mixotrophic nanoflagellates: Seasonal abundances and bacterivory in a eutrophic lake.
Many autotrophic bacteria maximize their carbon dioxide fixation potential by sequestering much of their ribulose-1,5- bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RuBisCO) inside inclusions called carboxysomes.
Catalytic Properties of Minerals and Autotrophic Hypothesis