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1. Self-nourishing. The ability of an organism to produce food from inorganic compounds. 2. Pertaining to an autotroph.

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au·to·tro·phic .ȯt-ə-'trō-fik adj
1) needing only carbon dioxide or carbonates as a source of carbon and a simple inorganic nitrogen compound for metabolic synthesis
2) not requiring a specified exogenous factor for normal metabolism
au·to·tro·phi·cal·ly -fi-k(ə-)lē adv

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describing organisms (known as autotrophs) that synthesize their organic materials from carbon dioxide and nitrates or ammonium compounds, using an external source of energy. Photoautotrophic organisms, including green plants and some bacteria, derive their energy from sunlight; chemoautotrophic (or chemosynthetic) organisms obtain energy from inorganic chemical reactions. All autotrophic bacteria are nonparasitic. Compare heterotrophic.

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au·to·tro·phic (aw″to-troґfik) [auto- + -trophic] self-sustaining; said of a type of nutrition in which organisms are capable of synthesizing organic molecules as nutritive substances. Cf. heterotrophic.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Autotrophic — Au to*troph ic, a. [Auto + trophic.] (Plant Physiol.) Capable of self nourishment; requiring only minerals for growth; using carbonate or carbon dioxide as a source of carbon and simple inorganic nitrogen as a nitrogen source; said of all plants… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • autotrophic — [ôt΄ō träf′ik] adj. 〚 AUTO + TROPHIC〛 making its own food by photosynthesis, as a green plant does, or by chemosynthesis, as any of certain bacteria do: cf. HETEROTROPHIC autotroph [ôt΄ōträf΄] n …   Universalium

  • autotrophic — adjective of or relating to organisms (as green plants) that can make complex organic nutritive compounds from simple inorganic sources by photosynthesis • Syn: ↑autophytic • Ant: ↑heterotrophic • Pertains to noun: ↑autophyte (for: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • autotrophic — adjective Etymology: probably from German autotroph, from Greek autotrophos supplying one s own food, from aut + trephein to nourish Date: 1893 1. requiring only carbon dioxide or carbonates as a source of carbon and a simple inorganic nitrogen… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • autotrophic — adj. [Gr. autos, self; trophein, to nourish] Capable of synthesizing all substances needed for nutrition from inorganic food substances; see heterotroph …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • autotrophic — adjective Of or pertaining to the production of organic compounds from carbon dioxide as a carbon source, using either light or reactions of inorganic chemical compounds, as a source of energy …   Wiktionary

  • autotrophic — adj. able to synthesize food (Biology) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • autotrophic fixation — the cyclic mechanism whereby carbon dioxide is fixed into organic linkage by autotrophic organisms, e.g., plants and autotrophic bacteria …   Medical dictionary

  • autotrophic lake — a lake where most or all of the organic matter present is derived from within the lake, not from the surrounding land …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • autotrophic organism — noun plant capable of synthesizing its own food from simple organic substances • Syn: ↑autophyte, ↑autophytic plant, ↑autotroph • Derivationally related forms: ↑autophytic (for: ↑autophyte) …   Useful english dictionary