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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 ?
Walker N, Wickramasinghe KN (1979) Nitrification and autotrophic nitrifying bacteria in acid tea soils.
* Nitrification of organic nitrogen and ammonia to nitrate requires an autotrophic population and aerobic conditions.
embryos were more lignified and appeared to be autotrophic.
Our objectives were to place genetically diverse autotrophic maize plants under cold stress conditions and (i) examine a set of interrelated physiological parameters and (ii) quantify genetic variability in the response to cold stress.
Phoradendron juniperinum (juniper mistletoe) are autotrophic hemiparasites inhabiting branches of higher vascular plants (Kuijt 1969; and Calder and Bernardt 1983).
If it is not covered by snow, pack ice is transparent enough for light to penetrate, meaning that the channels make excellent habitats for autotrophic microorganisms.
Across a large-scale productivity gradient there is a general shift in the shape of the biomass pyramid, from normal pyramids with very broad bases in forests to pyramids with increasingly smaller autotrophic bases in plankton communities (Whittaker and Likens 1973, del Giorgio and Gasol 1995).
"That theory has been challenged, especially in recent years, by scientists, including myself, who believe life began in an autotrophic way," says Woese.
Denitrifying bacteria are either autotrophic, using carbon dioxide as a carbon source, or heterotrophic, which use organic carbon compounds.
Furthermore, even though plant cells are autotrophic, they need supply of a high amount of sugar inside traditional bioreactors devoid of light.
Carbon monoxide/acetyl-CoA-synthetase complex (CODH-ACS) is--in addition to other enzymes--important for acetate assimilation, and its presence is one prerequisite for autotrophic growth.
Moreover, the main bacteria declared to be present in commercial probiotics (see Noor-Uddin et al, 2015) are very common in biofloc (e.g., Bacillus spp.) 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).