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autotroph Line breaks: auto|troph
Pronunciation: /ˈɔːtə(ʊ)trəʊf/

Definition of autotroph in English:


An organism that is able to form nutritional organic substances from simple inorganic substances such as carbon dioxide. Compare with heterotroph.
Example sentences
  • Because they interact with light to absorb only certain wavelengths, pigments are useful to plants and other autotrophs - organisms which make their own food using photosynthesis.
  • These developmental differences between autotrophs and parasites suggest that the functions of photoreceptors differ among autotrophs, hemiparasites, and holoparasites.
  • It is a true autotroph and uses only two sources for its metabolism: carbon dioxide as its source for carbon and hydrogen as an energy source.


Pronunciation: /ˌɔːtəˈtrɒfɪk/
Example sentences
  • Physiologically, plant conversion or seedling development involves a transition from the heterotrophic embryo to an autotrophic plant.
  • These differences correlate with differentiated function as heterotrophic, autotrophic and transport pathway components of the leaf.
  • Recently there has been discussion about the metabolic state of the ocean, with arguments questioning whether the open ocean is net autotrophic or net heterotrophic.
Example sentences
  • After greening and probable transition from heterotrophy to autotrophy, root growth rate was enhanced and growth followed a linear pattern.
  • This period is followed by post-germinative growth that leads to seedling establishment and the acquisition of autotrophy.
  • They consider that early achievement of autotrophy is a major feature of structures with a high degree of foliarization.
Definition of autotroph in:
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