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. Much 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 ?
Our results showed that gross autotrophic nitrification rates in the agricultural soils (U and P) were much higher than that in the F soil, consistent with a previous investigation indicating that agricultural land use could stimulate soil nitrification (Zhang et al.
In the literature cited, and the classification of bacteria with autotrophic nitrifying capacity, no genera other than those mentioned previously can be found with this characteristic.
To characterize autotrophic biomass using remote sensing we used 10 years (2003-2012) of daily MODIS-OC3 high resolution (1 km) data.
ferrooxidans is aerobic, acidophilic autotrophic, non-spore forming, Gram-negative, motile and single-pole flagellated bacterium.
Estimating cell concentration and biomass of autotrophic plankton using microscopy.
Dissolved nutrients and the autotrophic community associated with marine snow.
Giant clams are autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms, in contrast to several marine bivalves that have filter feeding as their sole energy source.
Faster autotrophic growth of anaerobic ammonium-oxidizing microorganisms in presence of nitrite, using inocula from Colombia