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Encyclopedia > Photoautotroph

Phototrophs or photoautotrophs are photosynthetic algae, fungi, bacteria and cyanobacteria which build up carbon dioxide and water into organic cell materials using energy from sunlight. One product of this process is starch, which is a storage or reserve form of carbon, which can be used when light conditions are too poor to satisfy the immediate needs of the organism. Photosynthetic bacteria have a substance called bacteriochlorophyll, live in lakes and pools, and use the hydrogen from hydrogen-sulphide instead of from water, for the chemical process. (The bacteriochlorophyll pigment absorbs light in the extreme UV and infra-red parts of the spectrum which is outside the range used by normal chlorophyll). Purple and green sulfur bacteria use light, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide from anaerobic decay, to produce carbohydrate, sulfur and water. Cyanobacteria live in fresh water, seas, soil and lichen, and use a plant-like photosynthesis which releases oxygen as a byproduct.

Photolithotrophic autotroph

Autotrophic organisms that use light energy, and inorganic electron source (eg. H2O, H2, H2S), and CO2 as their carbon source


  • Plants

Photoorganotrophic heterotroph

Heterotrophic microorganisms that use light energy and organic electron donors, and also employ simple organic molecules rather than CO2 as their carbon source.


  • Purple non-sulfur bacteria

  Results from FactBites:
The ratios of structural and functional parameters of photoautotrophic and heterotrophic organs may be the index of the coordination level of their functional activity.
Integral indexes of the functional activity and of the state of photoautotrophic and heterotrophic organs - the parameters of the growth and pH of tissues - were measured.
At poor adaptation of plants to stress-factors the ratios of structure-function parameters of photoautotrophic and heterotrophic organs are not equal to the golden section.
Encyclopedia4U - Plant - Encyclopedia Article (1059 words)
Another, much broader (more inclusive) definition for plant is that it refers to anything that is photoautotrophic — that is, produces its own food from raw inorganic materials and sunlight.
This is not an unreasonable definition, and one that focuses on the role plants typically play in an ecosystem.
However, there are photoautotrophs among the Prokaryotes, specifically photoautotrophic bacteria and cyanophytes.
  More results at FactBites »



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