Overview of cycle between autotrophs and heterotrophs

A heterotroph (; ἕτερος heteros = "another", "different" and τροφή trophe = "nutrition") is an photoheterotroph, while if the heterotroph uses chemical energy, it is considered a chemoheterotroph.

Heterotrophs contrast with

  1. ^ "heterotroph". TheFreeDictionary.com. 
  2. ^ Hogg, Stuart (2013). Essential Microbiology (2nd ed.). Wiley-Blackwell. p. 86.  
  3. ^ a b "How Cells Harvest Energy". McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
  4. ^ a b c Mauseth, James D. (2008). Botany: an introduction to plant biology (4th ed.). Jones & Bartlett Publishers. p. 252.  
  5. ^ Libes, Susan M. (2009). Introduction to marine biogeochemistry (2nd ed.). Academic Press. p. 192.  
  6. ^ Dworkin, Martin (2006). The prokaryotes: ecophysiology and biochemistry (3rd ed.). Springer. p. 988.  
  7. ^ Campbell and Reece (2002). Biology (7th ed.). Benjamin-Cummings Publishing Co.  


See also

Most parasitic plants have also turned fully or partially heterotrophic, while carnivorous plants consume animals to augment their nitrogen supply while remaining autotrophic.

Most heterotrophs are glucose, fats into fatty acids and glycerol, and proteins into amino acids). They release energy by oxidizing carbon and hydrogen atoms present in carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins to carbon dioxide and water, respectively.


Flowchart to determine if a stuff is autotrophe, or stufertroph, or heterotroph, and/or a subtype


Heterotrophs, by consuming reduced carbon compounds, are able to use all the energy that they obtain from food for growth and reproduction, unlike autotrophs, which must use some of their energy for carbon fixation.[4] Both heterotrophs and autotrophs alike are usually dependent on the metabolic activities of other organisms for nutrients other than carbon, including nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur, and can die from lack of food that supplies these nutrients.[7] This applies not only to animals and fungi but also to bacteria.[4]

[6][5] Organotrophs exploit reduced carbon compounds as energy sources, like carbohydrates, fats, and proteins from plants and animals. Photoorganoheterotrophs such as Rhodospirillaceae and purple non-sulfur bacteria synthesize organic compounds by utilization of sunlight coupled with oxidation of inorganic substances, including



  • Types 1
  • Flowchart 2
  • Ecology 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5