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phototroph

Definition

Autotrophic organism that uses energy derived from light to build up organic molecules from inorganic materials; obligate autotrophs can survive and multiply via their photosynthetic plastids alone, but many phototrophs are also partially heterotrophic, able to break down organic materials as a source of some of the energy they need, but many also require supplementary growth factors (vitamins); most chlorophyll- containing plants are phototrophs as are some bacteria; the so-called "phytoflagellates" (though not all of them) represent the principal group of phototrophs among the protozoa.

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