1. Of or relating to an autotroph, an organism capable of making nutritive organic molecules from inorganic sources via photosynthesis (involving light energy) or chemosynthesis (involving chemical energy).

2. Self-sustaining or self-nourishing organisms (e.g. green plants, algae, and certain bacteria) that have the ability to synthesize their own food from inorganic materials, e.g. carbon dioxide and nitrogen.


Related forms: autotroph (noun), autotrophy (noun).
Compare: heterotrophic.
See also: photosynthetic, chemosynthetic.

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