|Compare heterotrophic (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|
autotroph au·to·troph (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.
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)