autotroph

[aw-tuh-trof, -trohf]
noun Biology.
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.


Origin:
1935–40; back formation from autotrophic; see auto-1, trophic

autotrophic, adjective
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

autotroph au·to·troph (ô'tə-trŏf', -trōf')
n.
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 (-trŏf'ĭk, -trō'fĭk) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
autotroph   (ô'tə-trŏf')  Pronunciation Key 
An organism that manufactures its own food from inorganic substances, such as carbon dioxide and ammonia. Most autotrophs, such as green plants, certain algae, and photosynthetic bacteria, use light for energy. Some autotrophs, such as chemosynthetic bacteria, obtain their energy from inorganic compounds such as hydrogen sulfide by combining them with oxygen. Compare heterotroph.

autotrophic adjective (ô'tə-trŏf'ĭk, -trō'fĭk)
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
These bacteria are obligate autotrophs, so they don't grow on any of the media used to isolate pathogens.
Some, but not all, archaebacteria are chemosynthetic autotrophs.
Living dinoflagellates may be autotrophs, heterotrophs or symbionts.
It is the essential nutrient for many photosynthetic autotrophs and has been identified as the growth limit nutrient.
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