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Related to autotroph: heterotroph


 (ô′tə-trŏf′, -trōf′)
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′to·troph′ic adj.
au′to·troph′i·cal·ly adv.
au·tot′ro·phy (ô-tŏt′rə-fē) n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(ˈɔ təˌtrɒf, -ˌtroʊf)

any organism capable of self-nourishment by using inorganic materials as a source of nutrients and using photosynthesis or chemosynthesis as a source of energy, as most plants and certain bacteria and protists. Compare heterotroph.
[1935–40; see auto-, troph]
au`to•troph′ic, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


Organism (e.g. plant) that can make its own food from simple inorganic molecules.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.autotroph - plant capable of synthesizing its own food from simple organic substancesautotroph - plant capable of synthesizing its own food from simple organic substances
plant life, flora, plant - (botany) a living organism lacking the power of locomotion
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Sucrose: Plants in in vitro culture conditions need an exogenous carbohydrate source because most of the plants grown in vitro tend to shift from autotroph to heterotroph.
The following variables were considered: system type (freshwater, marine, or terrestrial), species richness, the number of food chain paths (FCPs), mean food chain length (MFCL), the relative proportion of endotherms at the herbivore level, maximum food chain length (FCL), connectance, linkage density, average diet breadth, average prey vulnerability, average body size at the autotroph, herbivore and apex predator positions, and the difference between predator-prey body size at the herbivore and apex predator positions.
By focusing on variation in autotroph chemistry on the phytochemical landscape, he links studies of trophic interaction to studies of ecosystem processes in order to show how autotroph chemistry influences, and is influenced by, nutrient dynamics at the ecosystem scale.
These tests expose Salmonella typhimurium strains that are histidine heterotrophs to the substance in question and assay for histidine autotroph mutants.
Yet many believe that heterotrophs evolved before autotrophs, which makes the autotroph drooling even harden to justify.
If the organism involved is an autotroph C [O.sub.2] or HC [O.sub.3] in solution is required.
New species VIDEO TRANSECTS Feeding Mode GH SH KWI BI Macroalgae Chlorophyceae Filamentous green autotroph X algae Phaeophyceae Fucus sp.
Table 3-1 The Five Kingdom System Kingdom Cellular Nutrition Type Examples Organization Monera * Prokaryotic * Varies Bacteria * Unicellular Fungi * Eukaryotic * Heterotroph Molds, yeasts, * Unicellular or (cannot make mushrooms, multicellular its own food) smuts, rusts * Absorptive Protista * Eukaryotic * Heterotroph Protozoa * Unicellular (a few autotrophic species exist) Animalia * Eukaryotic * Heterotroph Invertebrates, * Multicellular * Ingestive vertebrates Plantae * Eukaryotic * Autotroph Plants, mosses, * Multicellular (can make its ferns own food) Table 3-2 Classification of the House Cat, Human, and E.
A leafy liverwort (Porella pinnata) was the dominant autotroph, both in terms of AFDM and N content, and covered 19.1% of the stream bottom.
"Their hypothesis, in my view, suffers from the weakness that it requires a huge changeover in the metabolism of the host from an autotroph [which makes ATP from nonorganic fuel] to a heterotroph [which generates energy from organic molecules]," he says.
Just as there are important economic differences between an autotroph and a heterotroph, so, too, there are important economic differences between an organism that can think and one that cannot.