Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
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.


(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.


Organism (e.g. plant) that can make its own food from simple inorganic molecules.
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
References in periodicals archive ?
After I grow a batch of a particular autotroph, I filter out the ceils and am left with the organic carbon they produced and released.
Chuska was designed by Autotroph, a Santa Fe based architecture firm that specializes in green design.
jannaschii is the first autotroph whose genome has been sequenced.
By doing this with glucose and dissolved carbon dioxide, both labeled with heavy carbon, I can distinguish whether each of the lipids I found was made by a heterotroph or an autotroph.
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.
Therefore, open water algae can be the primary autotroph contributing to the wetland's energy flow.
Yet many believe that heterotrophs evolved before autotrophs, which makes the autotroph drooling even harden to justify.
The use of plant-based technologies has a number of limitations, primarily due to the fact that plants are autotrophs and not ideally suited for metabolism and breakdown of organic compounds.
sativa are autotrophs which mean they can acquire their food (glucose) via photosynthesis by utilizing energy from sunlight.
We suspect that ecosystem productivity is lower in ditches with riparian zone, as in-stream autotrophs are much less abundant due to shading by the tree canopy.
So, while salmon (and presumably herring) on the West Coast import nutrients to the base of the food web (terrestrial autotrophs, young-of-the-year fish, and some invertebrates), in the steams examined here the marine material enters the top of the aquatic food web where spawning adult anadromous fish are consumed by piscivorous fish.
Excessive concentrations of P is a common cause of eutrophication of freshwater leading to over abundance of autotrophs especially algae and cyanobacteria (Correll 1998).