Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
An organism capable of synthesizing its own food from inorganic substances, using light or chemical energy. Green plants, algae, and certain bacteria are autotrophs.
au·tot′ro·phy (ô-tŏt′rə-fē) n.
(Botany) (of organisms such as green plants) capable of manufacturing complex organic nutritive compounds from simple inorganic sources such as carbon dioxide, water, and nitrates, using energy from the sun. Compare heterotrophic
Relating to an organism that manufactures its own food from inorganic substances, such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen, using light or ATP for energy. All green plants and algae, and some bacteria and protists, are autotrophs. ♦ An organism capable of producing food from inorganic substances is called an autotroph (ô′tə-trŏf′). Compare heterotrophic.
Switch to new thesaurus
|Adj.||1.||autotrophic - of or relating to organisms (as green plants) that can make complex organic nutritive compounds from simple inorganic sources by photosynthesis|
heterotrophic - requiring organic compounds of carbon and nitrogen for nourishment; "most animals are heterotrophic"