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 (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.


(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
autotroph n


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.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.autotrophic - of or relating to organisms (as green plants) that can make complex organic nutritive compounds from simple inorganic sources by photosynthesisautotrophic - of or relating to organisms (as green plants) that can make complex organic nutritive compounds from simple inorganic sources by photosynthesis
phytology, botany - the branch of biology that studies plants
heterotrophic - requiring organic compounds of carbon and nitrogen for nourishment; "most animals are heterotrophic"


[ˌɔːtəˈtrɒfɪk] adjautotrofo/a
References in periodicals archive ?
Within marine trophic chains, zooplankton constitute the step that channels the energy produced by autotrophic organisms to the secondary consumers.
This short-term assay provides an indication of the activity and size of autotrophic nitrifler populations.
These carbon eating heterotrophic bacteria grow 100 times faster than autotrophic nitrifiers.
Net primary production (NPP gross primary production [GPP] -- autotrophic respiration [[R.
Converting ammonia to nitrate is due to two specialized groups of aerobic, autotrophic bacteria (nitrosomonas and nitrobacter).
One such use may involve the production of autotrophic bacteria called Thiobacillus ferrooxidans.
and provide an infinity of other heterotrophic and autotrophic bacteria that also contribute to the maintenance of system equilibrium (Zhao et al, 2012; Ferreira et al, 2015).
When the FA concentration in the influent increased and other conditions remained unchanged, a high concentration inhibited the growth of heterotrophic and autotrophic bacteria.
Nitrification in agricultural systems is thought to be mostly carried out by autotrophic bacteria (Jia and Conrad 2009), although some autotrophic archaca and heterotrophs can also nitrify.
It proposes to demonstrate at industrial-scale level, two innovative waste treatment systems: the UMBRELA system in urban waste plants, which combines a new anaerobic membrane process (AnMBR) with autotrophic nitrogen removal (Annamox ELAN); and the METHAGRO system in agro-industrial and other organic waste treatment plants (for mainly slurry), which is a high efficiency system that combines pre-treatment processes.