Definition of saprotroph in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈsaprəˌtrōf/ /-ˌträf/


An organism that feeds on or derives nourishment from decaying organic matter.
Example sentences
  • In contrast to ciliates, Opalina combined large cell size and the need for fast growth by evolving numerous genetically equivalent nuclei per cell (like siphoneous algae and many hyphal saprotrophs - fungi and pseudofungi).
  • Fungal endophytes and saprotrophs generally play an important ecological role within plant tissues and dead plant material.



Pronunciation: /ˌsaprəˈtrōfik/ /-ˈträfik/
Example sentences
  • Although fungi are thought of as saprotrophic or parasitic, more than one third of the known fungi are involved in mutualistic symbioses.
  • Those illustrated in Fig.4 resemble simple cord-forming, saprotrophic basidomycetes, which are involved in lignin decomposition (L. Boddy, pers. comm. 2001; work in progress).
  • However, if no suitable photobiont is available, the mycobiont can survive in a loose association with other algae or behave as a saprotrophic fungus.


Back-formation from saprotrophic.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: sap·ro·troph

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.