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 Chemotrophs are prokaryotic organisms that obtain their energy source from chemical reactions[1]. The energy is obtained from the oxidation of electron donors. These can be organic (organotrophs) or inoganic (lithotrophs).

chemotrophs can be divided further based on their carbon source. Chemoautotroph or chemoheterotroph.


Chemoautotrophs can synthesis their own organic molecules from CO2, using energy from the oxidation of inorganic sources e.g. hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and iron[2]. Also, most chemoautotrophs are bacteria or archea which are known to be extromophiles. They thrive in very extreme conditions with little sunlight or oxygen such as deep sea ocean vents and hot springs[3]. These conditions are needed for chemosynthesis to occur. this is when bacteria use sulfur containing compounds to produce organic molecules[4].


Chemoheterotrophs cannot synthesise their own organic molecules, therefore they must take in compounds to obtain the carbon such as carbohydrates and lipids. They still obtain energy from the oxidation of inorganic molecules. 

These are comprised of mainly:


  1. Prof. Ricardo Amils Encyclopedia of Astrobiology, 2011 pages 288-289 on 05/12/17
  2. Ricardo Amils, 2014 on 04/12/17
  3. No author cited on 05/12/17
  4. No author cited on 06/12/17

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