|a.||1.||(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 in which photosynthetic activity takes place, and certain bacteria. It is opposed to parasitism or saprophytism.|
|2.||of or pertaining to an autotroph.|
|Adj.||1.||autotrophic - of or relating to organisms (as green plants) that can make complex organic nutritive compounds from simple inorganic sources by photosynthesis|
heterotrophic - requiring organic compounds of carbon and nitrogen for nourishment; "most animals are heterotrophic"