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Related to Prototroph: prototrophy, autotroph, auxotroph


A microorganism that has the ability to synthesize all of its amino acids, nucleic acids, vitamins, and other cellular constituents from inorganic nutrients.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a prototrophic microorganism that, unlike an auxotroph, does not require vitamins, amino acids, or other growth factors to develop but synthesizes them from mineral or organic compounds. The same microorganism may be prototrophic for one growth factor and auxotrophic for another. The term “prototroph” was proposed by the German scientist A. Fisher. It was initially used as a synonym for autotrophic organisms to characterize bacteria not requiring organic matter and growing on mineral media.


Fisher, A. Leklsii o bakteriiakh. Moscow, 1901. (Translated from German.)
Rose, A. Khimicheskaia mikrobiologiia. Moscow, 1971. (Translated from English.)
Zavarzin. G. A. Litotrofnye mikroorganizmy. Moscow, 1972.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.