Autotroph and Heterotroph

Autotroph

An autotroph ("self-feeding", from the greek autos "self" and trophe "nourishing") or "producer", is an organism that produces complex organic compounds (such as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) from simple substances present in its surroundings, generally using energy from light (by photosynthesis) or inorganic chemical reactions (chemosynthesis).

autotroph n : plant capable of synthesizing its own food from simple organic substances [syn: {autophyte}, {autophytic plant}, {autotrophic organism}]

autotroph \autotroph\ n. an organism which is {autotrophic}, i. e., an organism (such as most plants and certain microorganisms) which are capable of synthesizing its own food from simple organic substances, requiring only minerals as nutrients for growth, and using carbonate or carbon dioxide as a source of carbon and simple inorganic nitrogen as a nitrogen source; the energy required is derived from photosynthesis or chemosynthesis. Opposed to {heterotroph}. See also {auxotroph}. Syn: autophyte, autophytic plant, autotrophic organism. [WordNet 1.5 + PJC]

Heterotroph

A heterotroph (; heteros = "another", "different" and trophe = "nutrition") is an organism that cannot fix carbon and uses organic carbon for growth.

heterotroph n : an organism that depends on complex organic substances for nutrition

Data Sources:

  • autotroph: WordNet (r) 2.0
  • autotroph: The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.44
  • heterotroph: WordNet (r) 2.0

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