chemotroph


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Related to chemotroph: heterotroph, Chemoheterotroph

chemotroph:

see autotrophautotroph
, 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.
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Life exists in two major forms: phototrophs and chemotrophs. The former capture the energy of the sun via a process known as photosynthesis and use this energy to produce organic compounds.
The phototrophs and chemotrophs (collectively called autotrophs) use energy sources that are inorganic (sunlight and chemical energy respectively), whereas heterotrophs acquire their energy by consuming organics (see Table 2).