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heterotroph Syllabification: het·er·o·troph
Pronunciation: /ˈhedərəˌträf/

Definition of heterotroph in English:


An organism deriving its nutritional requirements from complex organic substances. Compare with autotroph.
Example sentences
  • This photosynthetic control of cell-cycle progression is similar to the nutritional control of heterotrophs.
  • Classified by the source of their energy, bacteria fall into two categories: heterotrophs and autotrophs.
  • Animals, on the other hand, are heterotrophs, life forms that depend on the consumption of plants, animals or both in order to meet their bioenergetic requirements.


Pronunciation: /ˌhetərəˈträfik/ /-ˈtrō-/
Example sentences
  • They commonly occur as free-living, photosynthetic and marine unicells and also include endosymbiotic, parasitic, heterotrophic and freshwater taxa.
  • Overall, the results stress the importance of both heterotrophic and phototrophic metabolisms when considering environmental controls on the structure of bacterial communities in the sea.
  • In this case, changes in photosynthetic activity enable comparisons to be made between mitochondria in autotrophic and heterotrophic tissue.
Pronunciation: /ˌhetəˈrätrəfē/
Example sentences
  • If detached leaves were fed glucose, inducing a rapid switch from autotrophy to heterotrophy, then they were seen to exhibit GPT activity.
  • After greening and probable transition from heterotrophy to autotrophy, root growth rate was enhanced and growth followed a linear pattern.
  • Based on polyp size, corallite structure, and surface area considerations, M. faveolata appears to depend on photoautotrophy versus heterotrophy to a greater extent than its congener, M. cavernosa.


Early 20th century: from hetero- 'other' + Greek trophos 'feeder'.

Definition of heterotroph in:
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