Chemotroph

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An organism whose primary energy source is from chemical reactions. They obtain their energy by oxidising organic or inorganic compounds. They can also be known as chemoautotrophs and chemoheterotrophs[1].

Chemoautotrophs

Chemoautotrophs[2] use inorganic carbon dioxide (CO2) as their carbon source. Chromolithographs are commonly known chemoautotrophs that use inorganic compounds such as ferrous iron, hydrogen, hydrogen sulphide, sulphur and ammonia to generate energy.

All known chemoautotrophs are found to be prokaryotes that belongs to the bacteria and archaea domains.

They are found in extreme habitats such as deep-sea vents and highly acidic environments.

An example of a chemoautotroph is the Sulfolobus acidocaldarius found in highly acidic hot springs in US Yellowstone National Park[3].

Chemoheterotrophs

Chemoheterotrophs[4] use reduced organic compounds as their energy and carbon source. It is usually known as heterotrophs.

References

  1. Biology-online.org [internet] [cited 2015 Dec 2] Available from: http://www.biology-online.org/dictionary/Chemotroph
  2. Gargaud M, Irvine W, Amils R, Cleaves H, Pinti D, Quintanilla J, Rouan D, Spohn T, Viso M and Tirard S. cyclopaedia of astrobiology. 2nd Ed: Springer. 2015
  3. Microbewiki. Sulfolobus acidocaldarius. 2010 [cited 6/12/17]; Available from: https://microbewiki.kenyon.edu/index.php/Sulfolobus_acidocaldarius
  4. Gargaud M, Irvine W, Amils R, Cleaves H, Pinti D, Quintanilla J, Rouan D, Spohn T, Viso M and Tirard S. cyclopaedia of astrobiology. 2nd Ed: Springer. 2015
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