Dictionary > Phototroph

Phototroph

Definition
noun, plural: phototrophs
An organism, typically a plant, obtaining energy from sunlight as its source of energy to convert inorganic materials into organic materials for use in cellular functions such as biosynthesis and respiration
Supplement
Phototrophs are organisms that use light energy for certain metabolic functions. They absorb photons from light to carry out cellular functions such as biosynthesis and respiration. There are two groups of phototrophs: the photoautotrophs and the photoheterotrophs although the latter are considered as members of a subgroup of heterotrophs.
In order to capture light as source of energy, photoautotrophs carry out photosynthesis, converting energy from sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into organic materials. Since they are capable of synthesizing their own food they occupy the first trophic level in the food chain. They provide nutrition for many forms of life. They are plants, algae and certain bacteria. They are also referred to as the producers.
Photoautotrohs differ from another group of light-dependent organisms called photoheterotrophs. Photoheterotrophs are organisms that depend solely on light energy as they generate ATP through photophosphorylation. These organisms do not rely on carbon dioxide as their sole carbon source. They may use organic compounds such as carbohydrates, fatty acids, and alcohols they obtain from the environment for their carbon requirements. These organisms are purple non-sulfur bacteria, green non-sulfur bacteria, and heliobacteria.
Word origin: photo– (light) + troph (nourishment)
See also:

Related form(s):

  • phototrophic (adjective)


  • You will also like...

    Body temperature regulation by the hypothalamus
    Temperature Regulation in Animals

    This tutorial elucidates body temperature regulation. Know the details here to learn how the body sets the body temperat..

    Crossing Over and Genetic Diversity
    Inheritance and Probability

    Gregor Mendel, an Austrian monk, is most famous in this field for his study of the phenotype of pea plants, including ..

    Still Water Animals
    Still Water Animals

    Animals living in aquatic habitats have diversified and evolved through time. They eventually occupy ecological niches a..

    Ploidy
    Polyploidy

    Humans are diploid creatures. This means that for every chromosome in the body, there is another one to match it. Howeve..

    DNA carries genes coding for proteins
    Genetic Information and Protein Synthesis

    Genes are expressed through the process of protein synthesis. This elaborate tutorial provides an in-depth review of the..

    Muscle
    Muscle

    Muscle cells are specialized to generate force and movement. Learn about the different types of muscle tissues in this t..

    Related Articles...

    No related articles found

    See all Related Topics